Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Cooking as therapy or how to cook your way out of the blues


Dark days and rain don’t lend themselves to being expansive and creative about food, not for me anyway. It’s a time to hunker down, head down, teeth gritted, time to get through the rest of winter without getting too down. It easy to fall back on a few old standards in the kitchen, not even thinking about what you’re sticking in your mouth. The temptation to come in from work and vegetate in front of the TV or the 360 is ever present and the thought of putting any thought to what I’m eating is a bit much. This is not, of course, the best state of affairs for a food blogger, it’s pretty much terminal in fact. Funny thing is that once you actually stop and think and spend some time pottering around in the kitchen , the mood lightens and simple flavours and textures can really turn you around.

I’m not talking chocolate, well, I probably am to be honest, but that’s beside the point. it’s been far simpler than that over the last couple of days. The tang of grated parmesan on pasta from a hunk I bought in Milan a couple of weeks ago, the memory of eating panini bought from mobile stalls as I walk towards the San Siro to watch the most frightening game of football I’ve ever seen bringing a grin to my usually furrowed face. The citrus herby twang of fresh thyme on a roasting chicken with family knocking round the house. Five perfect little fairy cakes in a shop near the office that I bought for some colleagues.

Stopping being quite so inactive and actually getting down and dirty in the kitchen, making something for the sake of making it. I’ve being trying to avoid cooking for the sole reason of blogging about it, it can feel a bit mercenary and I’ve been questioning my motivations regarding this old blog of mine. So I’ve been trying to get back to why I started blogging in the first place, because it’s fun and I love the thought of making something well and then just sharing that with you lot. I don’t want cooking or blogging to become a chore. I don’t want to feel guilty about not doing it, I want to just cook, make a mess, fill my face and get a spring back in my step. Just messing about with flour and eggs, the simple pleasure of dicing an onion perfectly, the meditative process of cooking and preparation.


cookiecrumb said...

I wouldn't dare tell you how many bean burritos I've eaten during these dark days...
But the improving sunlight of the season is cooperating. I cooked yesterday, and it brightened my mood.
Just as your mood is brightening.
And really, Monkey Gland. You can hop over to Milan for some cheese? You should be happy.

Jules said...

I find cooking pure therapy. When I'm feeling down I usually bake something sweet and usually involving chocolate. May be bad for my waistline, but it sure cheers me up.

Monkey Gland said...

Cookie! How right you are...xxx

Jules: Yeah, I hit the cheese big time!