What does cooking mean?

Still Life with Lemons on a Plate by Van Gogh

“It means the knowledge of Medea, and of Circe, and of Calypso, and of Helen, and of Rebekah, and the Queen of Sheba. It means the knowledge of all herbs and fruits, and balms and spices; all that is healing and sweet in fields and groves, and savory meats; it means carefulness and inventiveness, and watchfulness, and willingness and readiness of appliance; it means the economy of your great-grandmothers, and the science of modern chemists; it means much tasting and no wasting, it means English thoroughness, and French art, and Arabian hospitality” ~ John Ruskin, Ethics of the Dust.