Let’s have Sunchoke Gratin Dauphinois and talk parenting.
It took parenting and cooking to teach me how to live my life.
This sentence could very well be a description for this blog. That’s what I’ve been wanting to share here: parenting, cooking, life (and a French touch). Not necessarily in that order. Their connection never ceases to amaze me.
What I mean by that, is that the meaning meat of life, the secret to happiness and fulfillment, the secret to no-regret-living, is to live for, and by, the journey. Or the process. (Journey’s a pretty word for process, really.) Or at least, I’m pretty sure it’s a big part of it.
And as life would have it, parenting and cooking are
both process-oriented experiences. In fact, they
are experiences that only work if you
focus on their process, if you’re able to enjoy their process. If you’re able
to trust their process.
Through both, I am learning to let go of expectations, to be
present in the moment, to nurture instead of control. For both, I am finding that learning
from others and trusting one’s own instincts is not contradictory, but complementary.
Thanks to both, I am learning to be attuned to myself and to the world.
I’ve been struggling to write for many years. Wanting to, and
yet finding it excruciating, or myself incapable of it. But I see now writing
is much like cooking and parenting. It’s all about the process too. The end result,
well… it’s not what matters most. And it shouldn’t be the motivation for it. If it is, it comes out shallow, inauthentic, mediocre. Just like cooking to impress. And how absurd – and damaging – would it be to have a child only for the picture-perfect lawyer or doctor we would like him to become?
We must live for living’s sake, cook for cooking’s sake, eat for eating’s sake, write for writing’s sake, and nurture for nurturing’s sake. A thing that is an end in itself, is always worthwhile.
So I am writing,
here, finally. Perhaps I couldn’t write before I learned that lesson. Parenting
and cooking might have just made a writer out of me. How wonderfully and
poetically surprising life can be, when our minds are open enough to take it in.
I could bitch about how I wish I learned these things earlier
in life. And I do sometimes. But to heck with hindsight, it was just part of my journey to learn it this way. And the onslaught of spring is making me feel optimistic. The jasmine has burst out into the night air, heavy enough to carry the mockingbird’s relentless nocturnal song of seduction. (I can hear him in the darkness as I’m writing these words.) So I wanted to say it: I am grateful for this unforeseen revelation, this new understanding of life. I’m just so glad about it. And when one is glad, one should say it. Or write it. Share it, in short.
Or cook it. And can I just say gratins are a perfect way to
I have blogged about sunchokes before, we have enjoyed many
sunchoke soups this winter, simple ones and fancy ones, and I recently cooked them in a gratin for the first time. This is a twist on the classic French potato gratin. A very tasty twist indeed. I hope you enjoy!