Cooking and Cleaning…Dangerously
- March 07, 2016
- Josh Godwin
Since I’ve been married, I’ve found a new affinity for the fine culinary arts. Now I have to clarify, when I say “fine” culinary arts I mean beyond the realm of mac and cheese and steam vegetables in a bag. I still can’t tell you the difference between sautéing and simmering, but we’ll learn as we go.
I never thought it would be this way, but the Spirit of the Oven just grabbed me and I’ve been hooked. Because my wife is basically superwoman, a teacher by day and an owner of a small business ran out of our apartment at night, I’ve gotten better at honing my craft and preparing edible meals for us. Did I almost burn the apartment down last night when I got the oil a little to hot in the pan to “brown” chopped garlic? Maybe, but Superwoman stepped in and saved the day by NOT pouring cold water on hot oil, which was almost my first response.
I’m not trying to brag, but let’s just suffice to say I’ve come a long way from eating cereal for dinner, a habit that I kept alive even throughout my first 2 years of grad school. I can now not only read a recipe, but can actually measure the ingredients out in their proper order! My favorite thing to do in the kitchen though is to slice and chop things. Why do I love to slice things so much? Maybe it’s because it makes me feel like a samurai warrior defending my home against the Tomato and Onion shoguns. I love the slow, methodical movements of slicing vegetables, trying very hard to make even and clean cuts. Usually I’m pretty fair at it, although sometimes the tomato looks more like a blind dog cut it than a human being. But I don’t eat tomatoes plain so who cares, right?
My least favorite part of cooking though is the cleanup. I think that’s a pretty unanimous sentiment. No one likes cleaning dirty dishes. It’s one of the few things in this world that I’ve never heard anyone talk about in a happy tone of voice. “What are you doing when you get home?” “Oh man, I’m so stoked to get home and clean the giant sink full of dishes and get my hands covered with grimy bubbles and all sort of old food.” It doesn’t happen.
Last night there was an incident though…a dangerous incident. A great dinner had been eaten and now the cleanup had begun. I was washing the silverware and the cooking knives and got distracted. Any of you fellow kitchen colonists know what’s coming next. While washing the knife I sliced my finger across the entire side of my knuckle; it hurt, it bled, Superwoman had to come back over and save the day again.
But it did teach me something. While I sat there alternating cold water and hydrogen peroxide on my finger, I learned watching Netflix while cleaning knives is the epitome of living dangerously. I also learned that it’s really easy to slip up in the middle of mundane moments.
How much like life is that? Very rarely is it in the middle of the big, unique moments that we get caught slipping; we’re cognizant in those times, aware of what’s going on. It’s the mundane moments, those that pass by without us normally thinking, that we mess up on. Partly it’s because we’re normally so good at them, or because we go into autopilot since we’ve been there countless times before. Whenever I struggle with something in my life, especially something like sin, it’s normally when I’ve gone into autopilot and don’t even notice anything. Sin is always around the corner, waiting for the opportune time when we are lulled into a repetitive trance. We struggle the most when we are engaged the least.
Autopilot is one of the most dangerous modes for humans to live life in. Not only do we miss out on so much of the beautiful experience, but we also slip into bad habits, harmful situations, and negative spaces. We don’t see the knife in our hands until we’ve already sliced our fingers. We were made to be intentional in living, to experience life, rather than go through the motions. So don’t take moments for granted, live into them and fully engage in what’s going on around you. Don’t watch Netflix while you clean knives, either. Avoid the dangerous of autopilot living by totally living the life