Greetings, and welcome to another installation of “making the most out of life through meals” with me, Simone de Beauvoir. A few of you have left me comments asking why I choose to bake extravagant goods every week when thinking, lecturing, and book-writing are my bread and butter. Cooking and baking are not only delicious ways to express myself, but a wonderful reminder of the philosophy we can find in daily life. Plus, I’ve come a long way since my sub-man soufflé recipe when I first started this gig—I was so uncertain of myself when making it that the soufflé deflated as soon as I took it out of the oven. Now I bake whatever suits me, not what the crowd is clamoring for simply because that’s what’s popular at the moment.
Let me remind you of the croissants from my last post that took 8 hours to prepare and about 5 minutes to devour (they were delectable, enjoyed alongside a cappuccino from Café de Flore). Although other home chefs might boil at the thought, I am pleased as punch that my creation was enjoyed in such a short amount of time, for “the present is a transitory existence made in order to be abolished” (126). All that hard work rolling flaky dough makes way for the future of my cooking and philosophical expertise to simmer into fruition.
I truly enjoy the time it takes to cook and bake. What would be the point of using a machine or shortcut to save time for leisure if I don’t know the grin of the little neighbor who eats the first piece of sourdough fresh out of the oven? Like the inspiring text, “Joy of Cooking,” I recognize that pursuing the joy of existence enables human liberation to have a more concrete meaning (146).
And although the kitchen is in a constant state of chaos (it’s Jean-Paul’s job to clean up), I still assert myself as a chef and forge on. I don’t need to wait for my space to be spic and span before taking action on my new cooking extravaganzas.
Without further ado, here is today’s meal:
Ethics of Ambiguity*
- Freedom. Rarer find, check specialty shops, but it’s likely you’ll have to cultivate this one for yourself
- Willingness to help others achieve their freedom
Feel free to spice up these ingredients however works for you. I don’t necessarily know what’s best for you and am not in the position to determine your own freedom and happiness (148)
1) Assume your freedom. Really claim this.
2) Don’t flee from it. It’s tempting, but this step is crucial.
3) Be constructive and actually DO something towards your goals.
4) Reject oppression of yourself and others. Make sure the final product can be enjoyed by many!
Don’t be discouraged by the many “kitchen fails” you may encounter. Baking (and living) is experimentation; just consent to the unending struggle against failure towards your next, better, creation (170).
*I’d like to note that this is NOT a strict recipe. Think of it more as guidelines: “ethics does not furnish recipes any more than do science and art. One can merely propose methods” (145)