Cooking has a common universal language that is understood by everyone!
3 weeks ago I got in the kitchen with mama Peter as I call her and we got cooking, her son is a good friend of mine with his partner, I call them my young brothers. We all come from backgrounds that one doesn’t have to be blood related to be family; anyone can be part of you family if you want them to be. So the 3 of us got cooking by the way Peter’s mum doesn’t speak any English. But you know what is so beautiful about bonding and cooking together cooking is so universal, cooking has its own language, you will find a way of communicating through cooking and bonding over food.
Family bonding can take place anywhere, but when it takes place in the kitchen now that is just magical. I love cooking it’s so healing. It’s like having your own therapy when ever you want.
I learnt how to cook at a very young age. Cooking was just one of those things that took me to another place. I could cook from the age 8 for 10 -20 people. I remember my first big pot of polenta (nshima) as we would call it in Zambia that I cooked for 12 people, I was only 11 or 12 i was crying when I was cooking, but after discovering that I could, no one could stop me from that day, I could offer cooking for the family everyday.
I loved spending time in the kitchen with anyone older be it my relative or not for, me it was time to learn and bond with this people.
I used to love moments when My grandam or step grandam would come and visit and teach you tricks of slowing cooking a meal and dishing it out making it look special. For women that did not have much they sure did know how to win people with food the all house would smile delicious when they cooked. I also learnt how to prepare a meal fast but delicious as sometimes men from our background can be so inpatient. Lol
When all this was happening we would be singing, laughing, going to markets to pick up what to use and sharing stories. This moments where special bonding moments.
The bonding used to start from teaching you how to make your own garden to then producing food to be eaten by everyone. My grand parents used to have some cleaver methods of cooking a meal with no oil but still making it yummy.
I consider these moments so special such that I made my self a promise that every time I visited a friend and would prefer spending more time in there kitchen watching who ever was cooking and learning something .
I loved this feeling of bonding so much such that today if someone was to come to my house I welcome them in my kitchen for some bonding time that is so special.
Since moving to Australia in 2001 and over the years I have made a lot of great friends that love cooking and food just like I do. Many of my friends come from backgrounds where cooking and eating was just a good time to bond, laugh and learn. To was a peaceful time no sadness just loads of bonding be it boys of girls.
It makes me sad at times to see how many girls and boys can’t even boil an egg. Society has changed s great deal from the time we where growing up. People don’t have so much time now everyone is rushing somewhere. Not many people have time to spend with the elders any more which can be sad to watch. But that is the world today. I hope our channel with boys will help someone have some bonding moments in the kitchen with there loved ones.
Cooking is love, cooking is therapy, cooking is universal.
Your turn, what are some of your favourite bonding moments in the kitchen as you cooked would love to hear from you!
(Photos by Ryan Tran)