I bake bread almost every weekend. As I was going through this now weekly ritual, I thought about what makes one a good cook? Is it experience, talent or something else? Do you have to love what you are doing or love whom you are cooking for? Does this attention, this mindfulness, make the difference?

In the movie, “Like Water for Chocolate”, Tita infuses her love, sorrow and passion into her cooking, with sometimes disastrous results. Is this just a fable or is there something to the notion of sharing love through food? Is that why we prefer mom or dad’s cooking? Does their love for us come through?

My mom didn’t like to cook. She cooked to feed us, but she didn’t love it. For her it was a chore, like cleaning is for me. My dad, loved to bake and he was very good at it. So perhaps if we love what we do it doesn’t matter who we are doing it for; the love still comes through.

I went through a bread baking streak a few years ago. I stopped when it became a chore and not a delight. Luckily that hasn’t happened this time. I still enjoy the ritual and the fact that it makes me slow down and appreciate the process. Having delicious bread at the end is just the icing on the cake.