I remember when microwave ovens came on the scene in the 1970s. Even as a teenager, I was deeply suspicious, because how could invisible waves that didn’t get hot possibly cook food? It didn’t seem quite natural.
Eventually the suspicion subsided, and microwave cooking became rote. Fast forward 50 years. The secondhand microwave gets moved to the garage, while the stove and oven are used every day.
The most curious thing has evolved. Most of the time these days I’m not subliminally aggravated by having to make meals, which is how I felt for years about working in the kitchen.
The copper-bottomed Revereware dating to my parents’ 1950-era wedding, and the cast iron skillets and other antiquated cooking vessels, are getting a workout that they haven’t seen in decades. Plus, they were manufactured before the concept of planned obsolescence had taken hold; there’s nothing flimsy about pots and pans that are older than I am. But mostly…using vintage cookware is just plain fun.
I recently realized that I feel a connection with the food I work with, almost a companionship. Lifting the lids to check on progress, making sure things don’t get burnt, and enjoying a new gadget, the Instant Pot, feels authentic and comforting.
I think relying on the microwave made me skip a natural progression of learning to commune with the victuals that I now place carefully into the oven or nurture on the stove. Even my favorite frozen dinner, Trader Joe’s macaroni and cheese, tastes better when it’s brown and bubbly out of the toaster oven.
If I look at other aspects of my life where instantaneous results and convenience tout themselves, like the Internet, I have to wonder. Am I missing out on another natural evolution of self by taking the shortcuts I’ve become accustomed to? Many conveniences are so embedded in daily life, I’m largely unaware of them, or don’t see them as potentially detrimental.
I imagine this line of questioning, and the notion of eating itself, will be obsolete in the not too distant future. At some point we’re apparently slated to become higher dimensional beings who magically manifest whatever we want, when we want it. I suppose it’s nothing more than a comfortable human nostalgia that prompts me to wonder about the topic.
In one of my early readings with Dr. Peebles, he opined that in this lifetime, I can have it all. I can have my connection with Gaia and all things of Earth, because life here is so precious to me. And I can have the magic and wonder of an elevated lifetime, too, the kind that (I’m told) led to an unpleasant ending on more than one occasion.
I’m going to put my shaky faith into that cauldron of hope. Believe that I can be of the Earth and of the sky and hold all those dimensions within this aging body. If I want to grow pole beans and snip them fresh into a pot of boiling water, then zip over to the far side of the Sun to pick up a special herb from an unnamed planet, I shall do so.
The melding of the old with the new, the archaic with the futuristic. I know how to grow pole beans and pick them and cook them. All I have to learn is how to harvest herbs on an unnamed planet somewhere beyond the sun. Surely that’s not too tall an order for a magical being in the making.