Lynda Balslev: Why I cook

This recipe is not fancy. It's inspired by a glowing food memory of a trip I took to the wilds of Alaska a few years ago.

You might agree when I say that life feels uncertain right now. There is a new normal replacing many assumptions and expectations we had taken for granted. Some of this is organic: We evolve, kids grow, parents age, paradigms shift. Some of this is external: Our world as we know it changes, affecting jobs, homes, security — even the weather. We all have our own mix of ingredients that concoct a plan, a recipe, for our life. Yet, the only sure thing is that there is no sure thing. And this is a reason that I like to cook.

The act of cooking is predictable and methodical, an essential daily routine that grounds and comforts us. When I cook, I surrender to its principles, meditate on the process, and revel in its artistic shape. Cooking tells a story that is both personal and reflective. It’s a creative journey and sensual expression that can be gifted and shared. It’s rooted in history, yet embraces the present; it’s our daily bread. Cooking is a thread that tethers us, reminding us of the past while planting seeds for the future, reinforcing and creating new traditions. It connects a family, old friends, new acquaintances and travelers with whom we intersect.