Two things I love are traveling and preparing food and eating with loved ones and friends.
The traveling costs a fair amount as we dream of returning to Italy someday after two trips there and amazing memories made and food shared! So, cooking and eating food here is more realistic in my life right now.
The winter is always when my "inner cook" surfaces at our home. There's just something about the cooler temps and shorter days that make it more pleasant to be in the warm, aromatic kitchen. Whether chopping (very therapeutic by the way), baking, or stirring and sautéing, I love to feed my senses and love to feed others' senses as well.
We've exchanged the art of hospitality, comfortable "down time" around a family table for the art of entertaining and impressing others with our culinary achievements and beautiful, creative presentations.
It is quite possibly one of my favorite times of the day.
Even when it's just Fred and I, I love the camaraderie of working together in the kitchen on the evening's meal, sipping a glass of wine and catching up on one another's day. Then we either sit and with music playing or we have a few lovely BBC shows that we are addicted to and we stream those often stopping them to talk about something going on in them or to clear the table and finish up our show or save the rest of it for another evening.
Shauna Niequist says in her book Bread and Wine that really communion is whenever we gather with others and share food.
"Communion is connection, remembrance" and "He's here! God is here, and he's good. Every time we eat, every time we gather, every time the table is filled: He's here. He's here, and he is good."