That’s what she said. Really, that’s what she said after finishing the plate of pasta and marinara. I smiled and said, “Thank you.” I didn’t grow up with an interest in cooking. I liked to eat (still do), but for most of my life I was content for someone else to prepare the meal. That’s changed as I’ve grown older, and while I’m a far cry from a chef of any kind, I do like to try my hand at recipes. It’s a very sensual practice, as in “the senses” are heavily involved—sight, taste, touch, smell, even hearing (there’s something about the sizzle of hot olive oil when you add garlic). Plus there’s a rich warmth in being able to plate that pasta and marinara or beef bourguignon for someone(s) you love. I think the word is “satisfaction.”
I’ve considered taking some cooking classes, and while that may happen in the future, for now it’s just me and a recipe in the kitchen, learning, one step at a time. I’m still quite clumsy and probably tied too closely to the recipe. But I’m fine with that. As I said, I’m learning. So far, this is the best marinara recipe I’ve found. I got it from my friend Kelly, and she got if from somewhere she can’t remember. It’s a good way to warm up a cold winter’s night, and the belly of somebody special.