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The Reason Why We Cook (Even When It's 104 In The Shade)
When's the last time you really thought about the experience of cooking? Not the sensations you feel when you warm up leftovers or pour cereal into a bowl, but what it actually feels like to crack an egg open or pat strawberries dry? Chris Kimball, founder and editor of Cook's Illustrated, made me consider the physical act of preparing a meal recently, in an editorial in the July/August issue of his magazine. The essay, "Zero Degrees of Separation," isn't available online, unfortunately, but it reads, in part, "we cook... to remind ourselves that we are alive, because we want to run our fingers across a silky side of salmon or grab hold of a bloody point-cut of brisket." Me? I love the tactile pleasure of shucking corn; mixing ground meat with eggs, cheese, herbs and breadcrumbs with my bare hands for meatballs; and pulling open the oven door, giving a pan of smashed potatoes a stir and feeling a blast of heat mixed with the scent of roasted garlic and rosemary.
So...why do you cook? And what's your favorite sensation from cooking?