My mother always tells me that when I cook, the kitchen looks like a bomb went off in it. And as someone who is known to be slightly anal, even a little obsessive compulsive, being messy is quite out of character for me. I cook for work but also for pleasure (of course), and when I do, consider me totally unleashed!
Picture yourself cooking. What is the first thought that comes to your mind? Pleasure or some form of “pain”? Most people today look at cooking as a task. And honestly, it can be. After a long days work who has the time, let alone energy, to prepare a meal? So allow me to set the mood but preface it by saying that full time work and children are part of my life meaning that limited time and exhaustion are routine, probably similar to you.
So, every Tuesday marks “farm day” when my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, New York has my box of yum waiting. Driving home from the farm I dream about what to prepare and once home (while my kids are in school), taking two hours of “me time” to cook is a necessity. With music blasting (anything from Buddhist chanting to U2), letting go and creating nutritious delicious food for the family begins. Sounds sublime…
But, you are probably thinking, “Stefanie, you know how to cook!” And that is true. But you all have a cook somewhere inside of you—formed habits and behaviors plus fear just get in the way! So I encourage each and every one of you to step back, take twenty minutes to plan your week of food from shopping to cooking (more on this in next week’s blog) and tap into your inner chef to generate some goodness. If you can’t find that cuisinier inside, take a cooking class to inform and inspire. Some of my local and not-so-local favorites are:
- Loaves and Fishes Cookshop
- Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts
- Institute for Culinary Education
- Haven’s Kitchen
- Early Bird Cookery
- Matthew Kenney Cuisine
Or you can always take a private lesson from my crew of “culinary translators” (and fellow nutrition junkies):
So, back to last Tuesday—I made a bok choy and tatsoi salad; rustic babaganouj; farm fresh tomato sauce; dirty lentils with slayed peppers and scallions; and black rice. My kitchen did look like a bomb went off but the couple of hours of being unleashed left me feeling great and my family eating well.
Trust me when I tell you that there is catharsis in cooking!