Promoting passion in book collecting
I have always loved to read cookbooks, and I found a comrade in Laurie Colwin. Her collection of essays, More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen, is part memoir, part cookbook, but above all Colwin invites her reader into her world and into her kitchen, telling tales and conversing about recipes. Colwin had a deep understanding of what a cookbook ought to be when she states:
Cookbooks hit you where you live. You want comfort, you want security; you want food; you want to not be hungry; and not only do you want those basic things fixed, you want it done in a really nice, gentle way that makes you feel loved. That’s a big desire, and cookbooks say to the person who’s reading them, if you will read me, you will be able to do this for yourself and for others. You will make everybody feel better.
I think our mothering/nurturing side is exposed when we step into a kitchen. I don’t believe I have ever come across anyone, male or female, that does not instantly recognize their underlying need to give back and provide something warm and comforting to the people they love as they work their way through their kitchen. Inside every act of cooking is an act of giving and a measure of love.
M.F.K. Fisher, one of the best food writers ever, she says it best when she was asked why she wrote about food as opposed to war or politics:
…I am hungry. But there is more than that. It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and the warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it…There is a communion of more than our bodied when bread is broken and wine is drunk.