In a world that often feels disconnected, the simple act of sharing a meal can be a powerful expression of love, gratitude and camaraderie. Our innate human need to come together, whether it be with family, friends, or even strangers, can be met in the kitchen.
The sense of community and belonging that surrounds food begins with considering all who handle your food before it finds its place on your table: those on a farm, those in a factory, those in a store.
Moreover, our togetherness isn’t just about eating meals together, it’s about preparing them together. Being in the kitchen cooking, or simply watching others cooking, is a moment filled with warmth and healing. From the aroma of spices wafting through the air to the clinking of utensils, the sensory experience of preparing a meal is a real bonding moment. Plus, cooking is an activity that leaves space for conversations. Through the stir and mix, we share stories, laughter and vulnerabilities.
The shared experience of preparing a meal reminds us to be kind and care for people. When we dine at a restaurant, we’re often separated from the labor that happens before we take a bite. But when we’re part of the whole cooking process, we see all the care that goes into it. Even if the dish doesn’t turn out perfect, we still enjoy it, and that’s a great way to nurture our kindness.
This opportunity for togetherness is in your home every day, not just for holidays.
We like the idea of “dropping by” that we’ve found in the book How We Show Up:
Let your friends know that they are always welcome to join you on certain days for a casual dinner (whatever is on your menu that night). It’s spontaneous, and they don’t need to be in a good mood or dressed up to join you. Your home is their home too, which means they need to help you with the dishes after dinner. 🙂
Remember, people might forget what you say, but they’ll never forget what you cook for them.