Practicing the PRESENCE in the Kitchen
There are great books and resources available for recipes and technique and practice in the kitchen, but these don't solve all the problems that we cooks run into. There is the demon of ennui and lack of interest that haunts us, not just at noon-day, but at all times. It is the lackluster belief and feeling that we are tired, over-worked, nothing matters, and we are lost in a sea of people who just come, eat our hard work and leave - perhaps even without any interaction or comment.
I have found the practice of the presence of God - Brother Lawrence's spiritual classic - to be a revelation of vitality. It perks me up when the inner lineaments are lagging and worn.
The whole idea of the Good Brother is to imagine the Divine One with us in the kitchen as we clean, prep, and cook the delights of the kingdom. It may take the form of an inner dialogue with the Ancient of Days or an outer - verbal - dialogue. It may simply be to pray love into the food we make by asking - as we cook - that each ingredient be filled with joy; that each person partaking of these elements would be given peace, that love would permeate every aroma and spoonful. Pray that the food would really change lives.
It gives meaning to the labors of the kitchen and it deepens a part of the cook that other actions, thoughts, and feelings cannot touch. It nourishes our own spirit and soul. It enhances the flavor of our own lives and our connection to the All-Wise.
Check out this book. Also, check out some form of practice that nourishes you - the cook - as you do the countless tasks necessary to nourish the people all around you. Some of the Eastern Fathers of the Church challenged the cook to pray the Jesus Prayer all throughout the day. Some others pray the Shema, the Rosary, or the Psalms. Open your heart and let it's love flow into your work and your creations.
Brother Lawrence's classic is at the link below.