In my 32 years of teaching people to cook, I have learned first-hand, and from my students’ experiences, that cooking can be very therapeutic. The process of creating something beautiful, aromatic, nourishing and comforting, whether for yourself or others, can appeal to your soul. Cooking is one of the few activities in which we participate on a routine basis that involves all five of our senses. The immersion into cooking can, at least for a time, draw you away from the stressors of your day, all while producing a fulfilling, delicious end result.
Focus on the process. Take joy in the ritual, the feel of the spoon in your hand and the beautiful colors as you combine your ingredients. Be attuned to the sounds of cooking, the bubbling of a sauce, the sizzle of the skillet. Revel in the aroma of a superbly simple soup or the yeasty, spicy aroma of pizza in the oven. TASTE! Savor your ingredients, learn what each brings to the party, taste your dish as it comes together, taste to correct the seasonings. Delight in the serving of your creation. Let the process soothe your soul.
And don’t let cooking stress you out! An old book from the 70’s by Sandra Boynton reminds me: “Don’t let the turkey(s) get you down!” Always remember, it’s just food! If occasionally it doesn’t turn out how you expected, that’s normal! If you’re not making mistakes and having a few issues in the kitchen, you’re not cooking enough!
- soul soothing soups
- sense of humor