When we cook a meal for someone (or multiple people), whether family or friend(s), it can become an opportunity to show our love for that person/group of people.
I don't know about you, but when I'm cooking for company, I sometimes get rather nervous. I worry about timing everything perfectly, and about getting each dish "just so". But being nervous while cooking can stifle us to the point that we stick to the "safe" zone. Lots of cookbooks will tell you not to try out an untested (by you) recipe with company.
But sometimes, I like to throw caution to the wind and go for it, regardless. It just depends on the company ;-). (I'm far less likely to get really crazy and creative when it's my IL's coming over, e.g.)
Apparently, I love to cook, not just for other people, but in front of them, too- I had a friend over for dinner one evening last summer, and, after I had shoved the third or fourth ingredient in whatever I was making under her nose and said "ZOMG, you have *got* to smell this!" Or "Wow, look at the colours in these tomatoes!". she remarked, "Wow, you really get into it when you cook, don't you?!".
Yeah, I guess I do.
Another time, I had the ladies from my Book Club over, and because time got away from me -yet again- not everything was ready when they got there. I tried my best to just carry on; visiting with everyone while finishing up one of the dishes I was serving. I didn't think anything of it (other than, "C'mon, Bodi, get your sh!t together next time and have this stuff done beforehand" and "These women must think I'm the worst hostess, prepping food in front of them").
Later that evening, sitting with the last of my guests as we caught up over a (few) glasses of wine, she remarked on how the scene appeared to her when she got there (she had arrived late due to a renovation emergency).
"I came in, and there you were, talking with everyone and casually rolling sushi all the while, like it was a cooking demonstration. It was a classic Bodi moment".
So I guess I'm a bit of a showman/showwoman-er, show-off? Ah well.
It is true, though, that I can really "get into it" when I'm cooking. I try to enjoy the process as much as the outcome- being present in the moment really connects you to what you are about to eat. Doing so with friends around you connects *them* to the meal, too. Try it sometime! But only if it won't stress you out even more.
Tonight's culinary adventure involved chopping up celery, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic and turnip. I took some photos, but I must point out the obvious here: I am *NOT* a photographer.