Could You Fall In Love with Cooking?
This morning I woke up and was about to hit snooze when I realized that I’d forgotten to take the sausages for breakfast out of the freezer last night! I did a quick mental run through of what we had in the fridge and wasn’t coming up with many options. I still hit snooze as my little guy crawled into bed for an increasingly rare morning snuggle! Never mind the bus, I could drive him to school this morning on my way down the hill.
Once we climbed out of bed, I wandered into the kitchen to stare into the fridge hoping something would appear for breakfast. What I did have was a small piece of left over Paleo apple crumble I’d made this week, eggs, some ground Chia and just enough almond flour. I always have frozen fruit and there was a half a jar of coconut milk left. I pulled it all out and got to work. Even though we weren’t trying to make the bus we still needed to get a move on, this was no leisurely Sunday morning breakfast.
I started him off with a smoothie, two chunks of left over cauliflower, a cup of frozen cherries, the left-over coconut milk, some stevia and a touch of honey, collagen powder, MCT oil and a touch of raw cacao powder. Quick, easy and full of brain healthy nutrients and antioxidants and just the right treat to tide him over while I figure out what to do with the rest of the food in front of me.
I contemplate throwing the apple crumble on the plate with a scrambled egg, which would have done the trick but I decided I had a few minutes to experiment.
And see, here is exactly the thing I love about the kitchen and cooking! I get to experiment, play around with ingredients and be creative. I get to make something out of nothing. I get to imagine, execute and see immediate results in the kitchen. Some days, even in a time crunch, that little creative spark wants to play and it is so satisfying when I can let it.
This is what I would love for more people to experience in the kitchen. Instead of hard fast rules, precise measurements and exacting standards for how things should go and look and taste, think of it as a creative project where you get to play a little. No need to be so serious about it. Could more people fall in love with the act of cooking if it were less of a chore, less of something that just has to be done and more just plain fun?
Don’t get me wrong. I am not this super happy kitchen fairy everyday! There are days where I am not feeling the creative juices flowing, days I just want to get the meal made and over with, days I wish I didn’t have to cook at all.
Usually those are the days that I am feeling to busy, to distracted with other things that feel more important, to tired and worn out to think about what’s for dinner.
Sometimes, a curious thing happens on those days. I pull some frozen meat out of the freezer at 4:30pm and try to think how in God’s name I’m going to make this work. I grumble and mop about it for awhile but as I start the process of pulling things from the fridge and deciding what I am going to put together, what I am going to create, I start to forget I was grumpy about it. As I begin to work with my hands and chose ingredients to go together – that spark lights – and I am relaxing, maybe grooving to some tunes on Spotify (unless Sponge Bob is playing in the background!) and rather enjoying myself. Despite the fact that 5 or 10 minutes ago this was the last thing I wanted to do!
I might even go so far as to say there is something therapeutic about it!
It doesn’t happen every time mind you. Some days I am happier to whip up a few scrambled eggs with carrot and celery sticks for dinner than try to get creative. Some days I am really happy to go out and have someone cook for me. We all need a break sometimes even from pursuits that we love.
So, what did I create this morning with the meager options I had in front of me? A quick rinse out of the blender to get rid of the smoothie and I threw in the left over Paleo apple crisp, and an egg. Pulsed it until it was liquified. Then I poured it into a small bowl, added some chia and a bit of the almond flour to make it a little thicker and proceeded to make some rather delicious apple crumble pancakes! Cooked in some melted ghee, it was damn good, if I do say so myself!
And there is the other thing I love about cooking. Feeling pretty damn proud of myself. That feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction to have made some thing that tastes good and is full of amazing nutrition. I don’t think we get enough feel proud moments during the everyday grind as grown ups.
You don’t have to be a master chef or an iron chef or even be throwing random ingredients into a blender to feel proud and enjoy that moment of admiring your creation. If you grill a chicken breast and put it together with some veg and rice that is creating something out of nothing. That is creating something where before there were only raw materials.
Just as a builder can feel proud of creating a structure from raw materials, we home cooks should feel proud of the meals we create out of simple raw ingredients we pull together into something edible. Maybe even something really darn tasty if we are killing it that day!
So here is my invitation….my challenge to you. How can you bring out your inner kitchen fairy? How can you make the process of cooking more a playful, fun act of creation? (hint: it starts with your mindset)
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I am not a medical doctor. I am a certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, certified GAPS practitioner and certified Counsellor. My experience and personal research in order to help my son has taught me a lot about autoimmune and chronic illness from this holistic and functional medicine perspective and I want to share that information with you. This information is just that. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace medical advice.