• Stephanie Paris

Using Culinary Creations for Contemplative Immersion


This is a Mother’s Day cake for my father. Let me explain.

I told my teenage boys that because it was Mother’s Day, I get to do whatever I want, and I wanted to be in the kitchen making recipes.

My 15-year-old asked, “But can’t you always do what you want?” Technically he’s got a point. However, I needed to declare it out loud as a way to give myself permission to spend more time in the kitchen, and less time doing other more "responsible" tasks.

One of the things I made was this almond flour cake topped with edible flowers: calendula and forget-me-nots. I served it with crème fraîche and homemade strawberry curd. It was delicious.

While making the cake, I realized one of the reasons why I’ve been spending so much more time in the kitchen. It’s not only the comfort factor of good food.

I’ve been processing a lot of heavy emotions, as I’m sure we all have been in these last few months. In addition to the consequences of a global pandemic and quarantine, I’ve also been thinking a lot about my father, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few weeks ago.

Every day he gets closer to death. That reality has been consuming my mind and has been difficult for me to process. I find that when doing tasks I enjoy that don’t require much critical thinking, I am left with the ability to immerse myself in contemplative thought about the current state of the world, and especially my dad.

So as I carefully placed the petals on this cake, I had a moment to think of him, and all he’s meant to me. I feel deeply sad that he is leaving this world, and also filled with gratitude for all the experiences we had together that have helped to shape me into who I am today.

I love you Dad. You would have loved this cake. ❤️

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© 2020 by Stephanie Paris