The New Wine Press vol 26 no 1 September 2017 - Page 17

Wine Tasting Lucia Ferrara teaching cooking basics to Precious Blood Volunteers The Spirituality of Cooking by Lucia Ferrara, Hospitality Coordinator at Precious Blood Center Note from Tim Deveney, Precious Blood Volunteers Director: Over the last few years I have learned a lot about preparing our volunteers for their service experience. In particular I discovered that people entering service right out of college have only some comfort and experience cooking. As I was preparing for this year’s Orientation I talked with Lucia Ferrara, the hospitality coordinator at Precious Blood Center, about having a session on cooking basics and being comfortable in the kitchen. She was excited about the chance to share her wisdom and experience with our new volunteers. Lucia wrote the following article as an introduction to her session on cooking and it lays out the personal, cultural, familial, and theological basis for her work as hospitality coordinator. Family cooking dinner together should be en- joyed at the dinner table with the entire family at leisure. There is a generational connection that we lack in our culture today and food helps us reflect on current realties and understand how eating forms our souls inwardly, upwardly and outward- ly. Encouraging people to gather in kitchens and around tables to share in the grace of God. Eating can be sacramental act that brings healing to our hurting and hungry world. Our body is a simple or complex vessel that we travel within this life. We need to nourish it both in body and spirit. Cooking connects us to people and challenges us to channel our energies and desire to discovering who we really are and where we come from. Whether I am chopping on an old laminate countertop or a brand- new granite one I tend to focus more on being aware of that connection of my spirit with food. This defines the outcome of the meal, not what I am cooking on! Our connection between each other or who we are is what is important. Cooking for me is discovering that presence or power of the divine that makes me dig deeper into my spirit and soul. It becomes a part of continued on page 16 September 2017 • The New Wine Press • 15