When I was a kid, a favorite summer pastime of mine was to take my mom's planter that looked like a cauldron and use it to cook stuff. By "cook stuff" I mean I would hang it from the lowest branch of our mountain ash tree, fill it with berries, chives, grass, puddle water, and Indian paintbrushes, and then mush it all up with a stick. I have no idea why my mother let me do this.
I remember taking great satisfaction in the end product: a stinky pulp that would dry in the sun and solidify in the planter. Witch's brew. Again, Mom, did you know I was doing this? Disgusting.
It didn't seem disgusting at the time, though. It was an engrossing activity with a thoroughly remarkable (again, at the time) result. I wonder if this is why I now will happily spend hours waiting for an assortment of ingredients to stew until they magically change into something else. Something that is the sum of all the characteristics of its differnt parts, and which smells way better than my "witch's brew."
from Les Halles Cookbook, by Anthony Bourdain (I love this man, although my mother does not).