The Power of the Kitchen

July Carrots

posted by Mary Evak, June 19 2013

By now you have probably noticed that unique is an adjective often used to describe all things about Eighth Day Farm. True to the word, I am amazed at the activities, experiences, practices and mindsets that have developed in this community as a result of this wonderful farm. A couple of weeks ago, very uncharacteristically, I actually sat down and wrote. More of a journal, really, some observations, and before I even knew there was going to be an official blog. It is this revelation, based almost solely on what heard, that I would like to share today in my entry:

            The windows in our house stay open all day, which allows for a steady breeze to blow through, carrying with it the conversations from people on the street and in houses nearby. Outside the window, my senses were assaulted for a good period of time with the typical sounds of the most dysfunctional of households.

            Cursing, yelling, and clanking accusations were lobbed up and volleyed between inhabitants. I could hear the steady wail of an infant. The drawls of our neighbors boomed threateningly and came to a screeching climax with each cuss. Then, I heard this: “Do you want me to chop this cilantro?”

            Suddenly the rhythmic “thwat” of a knife on wood replaced the crying child as background music in this auditory ballet. The yelling and shrill insults were exchanged for bellows of laughter, and amusing anecdotes from the day replaced the complaints which previously dominated conversation.

            Visible tendrils of smoke from the grill hung in the air outside my window rather than the thick heat of hostility.

The power of food is all-to under appreciated and under recognized. When people gather to create, serve, and enjoy with each other, the sickness of our souls is momentarily healed.

Cooking and eating are the most basic and necessary of our God-given functions; they make us feel the most whole. The ritual forces us to stay alert in the present moment, depend on each other and work for one another.

The kitchen is where humans are made – where we make some of our first mistakes, rejoice in our first successes, and ultimately become families. The kitchen is where we go to travel inward and find ourselves again after a long day, it is also the starting point from where ideas and nourishment spread outward into communities and into the world.

The kitchen is where we spend a majority of our time, where we begin and end every day. And cooking is a sacred ritual, one that should never be taken away from us. The ability to nourish ourselves – body, mind, and family – is a fundamental right, a divine capability, and a true expression of freedom.

As Proverbs 15:17 tells us: Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.


Learn about intern, Mary Evak