mushrooms and intention

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this is the photo break-down of the incredible dinner i made last night with my friend kimberly. this is our second time cooking together and if i may say (yes, i may), we make really, really good food. this week it was wild mushroom risotto and sauteed portabellos with port wine, cream and fresh oregano. last week we did indian food, even making our own paneer and naan from scratch.

so the food is one thing, which will always be a wonderful thing, but the cooking is something i've been thinking about more. i think we really learn so much about food when we are young. growing up, my mom was a great cook whose specialty came in making easier recipes that consistently turned out delicious and in always getting everything done at the same time and onto the table when it was still hot. i thought everyone cooked this way until i left home and saw that there are as many cooking styles as ways to cook a pot of beans. her skill in this regard is really exceptional.

i think due to my upbringing, its frustrated me in the past when cooking has taken a lot of time. i think its an issue of control that i have--food must be a certain way and not another and when i am hungry, i must eat immediately. but i've noticed a shift in me lately that i want to spend more time cooking. my mind gets very quiet within all the action of creating something nourishing and that will make me and my loved ones happy. it's a definite form of meditation. i am learning how to sit with hunger and wait for that final satisfying moment of conscious eating when i sit down.

so both dinners with kimberly have been delicious and both have taken a couple of hours to prepare. but it's during this time that i've gotten to drink tea, know another person better, carefully consider what and how i am cooking and let myself relax into the flow of a meal coming together. again, i am nothing but a moment in time coming together for something so much bigger than what i understand. what else can i do but stir the risotto again and again in praise? i'm understanding slow food in a whole new way.