This week’s Love Project is a contribution from me: “Love is a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.” As someone who has cooked for a while now, owning and using well-made cookery is a must. The practicality of a cast-iron skillet is great: easy to use, easy to clean, a variety of things you can cook in it (see diagram… lots of kale! lots of pancakes!). Like a great pair of leather boots or a Brooks saddle on  my bicycle (the perfect seat for commuters), the more you use the cast-iron skillet, the better it cooks. It becomes seasoned with the meals I cook over time. I like to think a little bit of every thing we cook in our skillet remains in the patina. Kinda like an alter to yummy food and shared meals.

At the beginning of every dinner we share together, my husband and I say “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” It’s our way of saying grace without it being too attached to religion—although, for me, it is a spiritual act. It’s a moment where I can be grateful that I get to eat good food in a warm house with my favorite man. Sometimes I eat mindlessly and to ease stress. I rush lunch or eat too many cookies at the end of a long day. But I do my best to take a bit of time each day to remember that eating great food is a luxury.

Cooking is a practice that I’ve cultivated over time. I’ve learned from great teachers: my Mom, my veggie-minded friends, Mark BittmanCynthia Lair, and Isa Chandra Moskowitz, to name a few. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of them, my skillet, my big kitchen I share with my husband, and the availability of abundant produce. I hope everyone has a great meal today.

PS: Cynthia Lair has great instructions on how to season a cast-iron skillet.