IT’S THE QUIET ALCHEMY OF watching ingredients turn into something delicious and nourishing. It’s the knowledge of where my food comes from. It’s the simple pleasure of browsing a well-stocked and -stacked produce display. It’s the adrenaline rush of following an unfamiliar recipe. It’s the guided meditation of following a familiar recipe. It’s the anticipatory process of scrawling ingredients on a shopping list, buying them, unpacking them, staging them. It’s the ritual of interacting with the guy at the butcher/fish/cheese counters. It’s the self-esteem that comes from self-reliance. And it’s a great way to pass the time before dinner!