I read an article the other day about how the repetitive action of knitting and needlework can create a relaxed state similar to how you feel when you meditate or do yoga, and can reduce harmful levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which unfortunately seems to be part and parcel of daily life these days.
For me and many people I’ve spoken to, cooking has the same effect. Like knitting or any other manual skill, once you get beyond the initial learning, you realise there’s a simple, soothing rhythm to cooking that enables you to get into that happy chilled-out zone in next to no time.
I’m not sure how cooking has ended up being seen as a high bar to get over, as it’s one of the easiest skills to learn. If you can read then you can follow a recipe and if you can follow a recipe, you can cook… It actually couldn’t be simpler!
It’s also amazing how you can feel so useful and productive when you cook for family and friends. You can have had a dog day at work, but by the time you come home and make a meal, then sit down together to enjoy it, you feel successful and satisfied.
I’m not talking about the sort of food that requires your full and constant attention – you can help the kids with their homework while you cook, or enjoy a glass of wine with a friend. Unlike in a restaurant, where you require professional skills to deliver the goods that paying costumers demand, when you’re at home cooking can be and needs to be super easy.
Just because we’re busy, doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our diets to heavily processed industrial food. I think you’re going to really enjoy my latest collection of recipes for We Are What We Eat. You get to ditch the empty calories for some delicious and inexpensive treats like Yummus (my speedy take on a quick home-made hummus), a tasty quick fish bake, a wonderful one-tray dinner of chicken and haloumi, and great ideas for easy healthy breakfasts and lunches.
Best of all, bringing fresh home-cooked food to your table is the simplest way to show you care in a way that goes beyond anything money can buy. Enjoy!