It’s remarkable how soothing cooking can be. What’s that? You’ve never found cooking soothing? It’s always been stressful and a chore? Well I’ve got some wonderful things to tell you.
I’ve been in France for just over two weeks now, but last night was the first night that I actually cooked up dinner. It was only something simple (yummy vegetarian gluten-free stuffed mushrooms), but it was nice just to bring together all of my ingredients, to chop what needed to be chopped and mix what needed to be mixed, and to follow the same familiar steps to achieve the same delicious results.
Why is this soothing, you ask. How can putting in the effort to make something be comforting when you could just buy food from the little bakery across the road and spend the afternoon filling your face with pastry? It’s because in your kitchen, in your little kitchen-kingdom, you have control of everything. You can just slowly work your way through each of the steps, maybe have some music on in the background, and in the end things do what you want them to do. Cooking a meal has the kind of certainty and rhythm that sometimes the rest of life just doesn’t have.
One big thing to remember when you’re cooking for comfort is to choose a simple recipe. Choose something with a large margin for error, and if you can, something you’ve made successfully before. Because while I love to experiment and make mistakes, sometimes we just don’t have the energy to deal with it.
And then, after you’ve spent a relaxing, unwinding hour in the kitchen, you can sit down and eat what you’ve created, and feel that satisfaction that comes after a job well done. Maybe you could even share some food with someone!