“A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.” These are the words of Elsa Schiaparelli, an Italian/French fashion designer who saw fashion as art and as an opportunity to express her passion for life. Her delightful autobiography is on my summer reading list.
Sometimes I wonder what it is about food that makes it so much more important than fuel. I always remember the special dishes that my mother, father, and grandparents made. My own children also ask again and again for certain dishes like their great grandmother’s made-from-scratch angel food cake with a frosting that I am still trying to get right. When my mother passed, I remember their talking about her fried chicken dinners that no one could ever make just the same as she did. It must be that these women not only pleased the palate but dispensed happiness in their preparing of dishes for others. The happiness of feeling cared for and about was the ingredient that was really soul satisfying.
Everyone has a way to dispense happiness. It may not be cooking; it may be in making or doing or even in just talking –something simple that brings joy to others. We tend to underestimate the importance of the little gifts that are ours to give.
And so, I accept and am grateful that wherever there is a carried in dish dinner, I am requested to bring “your deviled eggs.” I did not choose deviled eggs as my legacy, but just thinking about being “a sorceress who dispenses happiness” makes it all worthwhile. How do you go about dispensing happiness?