Fancy yourself as a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen? Masterchef don’t know what they’re missing without you right? Or perhaps you’re more like me? always manage to burn toast and don’t know your sieve from your ladle? Either way, I’ve been doing some reading (as I want to become a better cook) and it actually turns out cooking has more benefits than just being able to whip up a feast from nothing.
I’ve discovered, that actually cooking has many similarities to meditation and academically is known as culinary therapy (sounds swanky eh?) And actually it all makes sense, think about it. Cooking is all about the now, your mind focuses on the single task at hand. The power of kitchen time is growing in popularity as a method of therapy!
As food writer Ellen Kanner alludes preparing a meal is unlike any other day-to-day task as it gets you to slow down and focus. I while it may sound menial, I find myself agreeing, the precision and accuracy of weighing out flour, the intricacy of peeling vegetables really does allow the mine to hone in on the present moment allowing you lose all your inhibitions and stresses.
here are three things you can take from cooking:
Acknowledge how you’ve taken a plant from the ground that started from a root and transformed it into something substantial. Think of the whole process the food has been through up until you bought it, you’re part of a wider network and have made something ordinary into something of worth and delight.
Cooking allows you to show a little bit of you and is an outlet for expression. whether you follow and recipe word for word, follow it partly and decide you know best or chuck everything from the fridge in the pan and go with the flow. Get your senses involved work with textures and smells, it’s all trial and error. be your own muse and cater to your own taste. take pride from your end product in all its glory!
Don’t disregard the pleasure cooking can bring, it’s not just another task for the day, you can have fun with it. It isn’t exactly as mundane as pegging out the washing or doing the ironing. The stages of cooking from an idea, sourcing, prep, cooking, bringing it together and presentation has an inbuilt reward system and satisfaction can be gained from each stage.
But before you go and dust off that recipe book you bought with the best of intentions a final word. Allow the creativity you may find from cooking flow into other areas of your life, take pictures of your food, gather together recipes. Food is great for bringing people together, learn together, pass on what you’ve learnt or pick up tips.
Need a bit of inspiration? Here’s the recipe I’m going to be attempting tonight, wish me luck! Chicken & broccoli pasta bake
Written by Jonathan Blease
*disclaimer media not created or owned by Chester PLUS*
*Photo credit- Mrs Dornbergs