Seven brilliant food bloggers share why they cook, how it has impacted their lives and what food means to them.
Adventures in Cooking
"I love to cook for a lot of reasons, but I think what drives me to the kitchen most frequently is the desire to reconnect with recipes past. I love the idea that someone else, many years ago, was standing in the same position, mixing the same ingredients, kneading the same type of the dough in the same rhythmic motion, and enjoying the same fruits and herbs of the earth just as I’m enjoying them, right in that moment."
"I'd heard stories about my Yiayia making hilopites from scratch, which are these incredibly tiny square cut noodles, and after years of enjoying freshly made pasta from various Italian restaurants, I finally decided to try my hand at it this past month. I decided to make one of my favorite pastas, orecchiette, which is a noodle that is shaped by hand. It made for a delicious dish that is going to become a staple in our kitchen, and one that I certainly plan on passing down to my children."
"Reflecting on all my kitchen memories – trials and errors, successes and failures, new discoveries, willingness to try new cuisines or the desire to make a familiar favorite, making a special dish for the first time, or even just making a comforting pot of tea or roast chicken – it strikes me, and I realize why I cook. To reflect me. To express myself and bring my mood to life. To transform my abstract ideas and feelings into something tangible that you can see, feel, and touch. To bring out the emotion in my heart and the ideas in my head. To give my creativity an outlet."
"One date night a while back, my husband and I were at one of our favorite places, about to order one of our favorite meals. The waiter (who knew us) stopped us immediately after the words left our mouth, saying we didn’t want to order that tonight because it wasn’t the dish we were used to. We asked why, and the waiter subtly lowered his voice, glanced around to make sure no one would overhear, and told us that the chef was 'in a mood' and the food was particularly spicy. I’ve often thought about that particular date night as I cook at home for my family and friends, wondering if my mood is reflected in the dishes I’m serving."
"I love home-cooked food because it gives me the emotional and physical fuel I need to live a healthier happier life. I’m all about baby steps and eating the good with the bad. Because the most important thing is that you get in the kitchen in the first place. Everyone is nourished in different ways, and cooking gives you the power to put your own special brand of love on the plate, for all to share."
"Like many people, I grew up knowing the value of good food. My mom was an early adopter of the organic movement. Long before Whole Foods popularized it, she was feeding me bowls of quinoa instead of macaroni. But what really compelled me to quit my day job, and what drives me now, even when a long day over the stove feels like a chore, is the power of a meal to nourish the body and soul."
"Cooking allows me to share my joy and passion for life with others. I find that a home-cooked meal is the great equalizer in today's complicated world. Many of us have busy schedules, opposing political views, or disparate lifestyles, yet the simple act of breaking bread with others around the table is a powerful experience which can unite nearly every inequality."
"It’s so amazing how such a simple question, about a simple word like food, will always have such a deep and meaningful answer. That’s what food and cooking does. It encompasses so many things, from emotion, to fun, to marking almost every event in one’s life. Food for me, holds my memories, it’s my past, my present and my future, and is why I cook!"
"With food, we’re ageless, timeless world travelers, party makers, friendship starters and even comfort givers in the sad moments of life. We can bring people back, stir up old feelings and create new ones. Memories are cooked up and those ‘smells in the kitchen’ are never forgotten, they’re a delicious backdrop to our soul. Like love, food is so much more than a simple word, or a life-sustaining necessity, it’s really where we came from, where we’re going and who we are!"
"Somehow, food always manages to play a part in the most memorable parts of our lives. While I always had a fondness for food, it wasn't until I was a teenager, maybe even in my 20s, that I attempted to become a part of the cooking story on the other side of the stove."
"I've often stopped to think about why I started to cook, and more importantly, what caused me to continue to do so. I cook because food connects us all. Food is the ultimate gift. It nourishes. It warms. It fills and fulfills. It appeals to all the senses, engages emotions and triggers memories."
"Why do I cook? I cook for many reasons, but my favorite reason is that soul filling walk down memory lane. With just one dish, I can spend time with my grandfather and feel close to him even though he has be gone for years. I have silly memories of family gatherings and special memories with my children that I never want to forget. Memories that I hope my children will carry with them for years to come."
"Few things in life can transcend age, race, religion, culture, gender and language other than food. I have sat down to meals where I cannot even communicate with those with me because of a language barrier and yet, through the food, a full vibrant story was told."
"Why do you cook?" may seem like a simple question, but for most people, it is full of complex answers. With its 2013 "Why I Cook" project, Swanson inspires people to turn to their roots and ask themselves this very question. This week, we asked seven food bloggers and Kitchen Daily contributors to share the reasons behind their love of cooking with you.
From making memories and connecting with the past to self reflection, our contributors share some wise words.
Check out the slideshow above for seven smart reasons to cook from those who know best.
This is a collaboration between Campbells' and the AOL Lifestyle Contributor Network. Compensation was provided by Campbell's via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Campbell's.