andres marrugo

'Cooking' Ideas

I love to cook – or one of the reasons I enjoy it so much is – because it’s a manual activity that, quite often, lets my mind wonder about. While cooking I can think about my problems,1 about the future, about a world different from this one. I can hear my thoughts in a undisturbed way. It is like a moment of pristine inspiration. Me and myself. Nobody else.

I seldom write those thoughts down, because – well, it’s quite obvious – I’m cooking at the moment and if I did that, dinner would take forever to be ready.

So, as beautiful and inspiring the whole while-cooking thought process may be, it is ephemeral. As soon as dinner is ready I get back to the current issue and most of what was in my mind, just moments ago, vanishes – or so it seems. I think that on a subconscious level those thoughts do stick around.

What I certainly don’t like about cooking is the planning itself. If I want to cook chicken in the evening, and it’s in the fridge I have to remind myself to take it out in the morning – which quite often means I have to plan it the day before. And let’s be honest, having to think about getting chicken out of the fridge is not exactly the most intellectual thing one could be doing – yet, it’s got to happen and someone’s got to do it.

Except for that, cooking (to me) is quite a satisfactory experience which enables me to enjoy myself and have an encounter with my thoughts and imagination. It’s (almost) like day dreaming, but it’s not. It’s much more.

  1. It’s something of a coincidence, but there’s a great mac power users episode called “cooking ideas”, where David and Katie cover strategies for using mindmapping and outlining tools. I highly recommend it.