Why do I cook?
Now, granted, this is a loaded question but I am going to explain to the best of my ability the thought process behind what I do and why I do it.
I’ve been blessed with many things, and I have felt that it is my need to share these talents with others. God gave me the ability to learn, teach, and provide a means of feeding others; so, I do that. All of this feeds into this idea of hospitality. God so loved me (and everyone else for that matter) that he gave his only Son, and in an imperfect way, I attempt to share the love that I have received with others.
The first thought that I have to cast out when cooking for others is that this is about “me.” Cooking and serving people is about others and loving them, not what you get out of it. Hospitality should be about building up others. Any thought of “I wish they would help” or “they didn’t even offer to clean the dishes” needs to be put aside. More often than not, people are not going to have that come to mind first thing when they are eating with you. If you are good friends, and you ask, most will be willing to help how they can.
On the note of help: if you need it, ask. If you are inviting others over, and you want to feed them but might not be able to do it alone, ask for help (even monetarily), and not halfway through the meal. Be willing to humble yourself and ask for help when you need it. Now, if this is someone you just met and invited over, I would more than likely advise against the above, but those who you are close to, and in community with, especially if you are a christian, you should be able to request help from them. Call it a dual hosted event, where one hosts physically it, but both of you “put it together.” Glory is for God, not us, and we are a steward of His gifts, so share them.
So, I cook because it is therapeutic for me. I can just focus on the task that I am doing, and make food. Cooking from scratch can produce large amounts of food, and at cheaper prices (it is very easy to make meals for less than $3-3.50 a meal, which is cheaper than you would get going out for the same food). While these things are all nice, I love helping make sure college kids (and other adults :)) eat a good healthy meal. I enjoy serving people. Maybe you don’t, and when that is the case, seek someone out like me, who does, and grow together in community.
I personally hate cooking for just myself, and I started cooking for/with a roommate a few years back. It will demand some of your time if you want to make more complex dishes, but I personally feel that the reward is well worth it. There are also many meals that can be made well in advance, and frozen for later use. I will most likely not get into these, but if it were requested, I might point those request in another direction.
I am happy to help teach anyone how to cook and prepare food. This site is intended as a basic central reference/source for information. If anyone reading this would like a more personal run-though of how to make things, please let me know, and I will happily work with you.