Attitude in the Kitchen
By Chef Bette Drew - April, 7, 2007

A word on attitude in the kitchen

I have found that kneading is the perfect place in the kitchen to add the full measure of love and devotion to God and the family by way of loving thoughts, repetitive prayer or songs of thanks-giving; and yes, it does make a difference. Hand crafted loaves of bread are the staff of life because it is in their crafting that the cook’s energy is directly imparted to the food. This also happens during the stirring of a sauce, the peeling of fruit and vegetables. So, if you are angry or upset about something -- do not cook until you are feeling more balanced and loving – your family and guests will feel it; and they will reflect it back to you. So if you are that upset and have an "Attitude in the Kitchen" – order out. Honest.

A case in point:

One day while I was chef/manager/co-owner of the Merciful Lion, I was walking through the dining room and overheard a conversation between two women. One was saying to the other, “Do you ever feel ‘high’ when you leave here?”

The other woman replied “All the time.”

The first asked with trepidation, “Gosh, you don’t think they put anything in the food do you?”

At which point I realized I needed to apply some rather immediate damage control. I approached their table and told them that I could not help but overhear their conversation and frankly, we did indeed put something into the food. Would they like to know what it was?

“Uh, yes,” they said.

I told them that in point of fact there is nothing in the world more potent than a thought. After all, God had created all of creation with a single thought. Additionally, all of our spice had been blessed by our spiritual teacher, and all of our food was prepared with the sweet remembrance of God in our hearts and minds and prayer on our lips, so if they were receiving some benefit, then I suspected that was what it was.

On the other hand, have you ever experienced an evening when you went out for dinner feeling really fine and happy only to have the evening turn sour and you unaccountably found yourself agitated and angry? What was going on in that kitchen that evening?

Thoughts are very powerful as are feelings. When his advisor Birbal told him that thoughts were so powerful, King Akbar did not believe him. Birbal invited him to the courtyard and directed his attention to a man struggling under a load of laundry walking down the street. “Think unpleasant thoughts about that man,” he directed the King. So Akbar began to ridicule him in his mind. When the man came up to them, Akbar asked him what he had been thinking as he approached them. The man was reluctant to say. Birbal assured him that nothing bad would happen to him and simply to say what he was feeling as he came upon them. “I wanted to punch you in the face!” the man told the King. The King apologized saying that he had not realized that thoughts were so potent.

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