My thoughts have been all over the place lately. When this happens, the kitchen is the place I come back to. It's both a playground and a sanctuary.
What is it about cooking? Cooking is both my creativity and my stress relief. It's my way of being productive (but also my way of procrastinating!). When nothing else is going well, I can at least make a great dish. When I want to shut out other thoughts, I can clear my head while going through the rhythmic motions associated with cooking - chop, slice, dice, repeat. When I don't feel a sense of order in my life, I can have control and order while cooking, when ingredients, flavors and spices come together in harmony. When I feel unbalanced, I can feel centered while I hover over a pot, watching, stirring, smelling, tasting... and taking deep breaths along the way. When I feel the need to create something, to work with my hands, I cook to bring ingredients together and make a dish come to life. It's what I do to nurture myself and others. Cooking can be a solitary enjoyment, or it can bring people together. It's what I do to celebrate, whether dining solo, or in the company of family and friends.
I came across this ad in a magazine, cut it out, and stuck it on my refrigerator door:
In my kitchen
I preheat a memory
I fold old friends with new
I bake a good laugh.
What a perfect way to describe how I feel about food, the kitchen, and all things culinary.