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Cooking and Writing

Nobody makes a meal just knowing the steps

“Courtesy of the Author”

I never had the slightest penchant for domestic talents. I can still remember my mother who called my attention to the fact, saying: your sisters already know how to sew on the machine, they knit and crochet and you come and go, go and come without the slightest curiosity. It was true and it is true. To be absolutely honest and sincere, the little I know about cooking I learned from my husband. But it’s just some rice, a salad and some manioc flour. My husband is the Chef, he cooks daily and he enjoys making his recipes. His palm pie is the best, the Argentine empanadas are delicious, his homemade bread, huummmm. Everything he does is tasty.

When we first met, after tasting the delicious food he had made, I promised that I would do something next time. My sister and eternal accomplice taught me a lasagna recipe that I love. I memorized each step and I went there to try my culinary feat. But nobody makes a meal just knowing the steps. My husband was listening to some classics while we were enjoying a wine and he soon realized my lack of intimacy with the kitchen. I couldn’t even be chopping the onions. He took the charge and I opened the game: I don’t even know how to cut an onion. The truth sets you free. I felt light as a feather. Pretending to cook was a holy lie with a short leg, but one thing is certain: it would not be through the stomach that I would win him over. And I didn’t even need to. He already loved me.

And when love happens, everything works for the good of those who love each other, even not knowing how to cook. I remembered my mother again who said that one acquaintance of hers, newly married, did not know how to do anything at home. And the husband became ill. The doctor advised him to make chicken soup. The woman started to cry because she had no idea how to make the soup. The husband was amused and the mother-in-law taught to her with great pleasure how to make the soup and everyone lived happily ever after. But there is a difference: this woman had become a famous Chef and I am still in the first stage. Her penchant was only asleep and I was not given this gift, although I can cook to keep from starving.

People say that the taste for cooking is already something natural, the person is born with this or not. I do not know. Since I always I hated going to the supermarket, I agree with my husband when he says that the supermarket and the market are the kitchen brothers. There are people who try cooking courses, some, in vain, because they have no vocation, so, no meals. There would be no cooking course with me that way.

What I can do and with a lot of work is to weave ideas, sew paragraphs, embroider with words, and sometimes, even mend them. But I hope no one can look inside out because the first creation is ugly, just like my cross-stitch. I still try to darn signifiers and meanings, everything without a sewing machine. So I can say that I can sew as much as I can cook, for example, I can make letter soup with an accent salad and a phrase stew. In the end, I present a complex dish, because I always live surrounded by questions, crazing look for expressions as Augusto dos Anjos used to say. Whoever works with the language, works with the soul. I’m not going to say that trying to say the unspeakable is easier for me than slicing an onion or squeezing a garlic, but it’s a lot tastier.


Cooking and Writing was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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