After much deliberation on what to cook for dinner one night, I finally made the decision to do Osso Buco Milanese. Now many would think that deliberating about what to cook is not that important! However, I’m a foodie and for foodies, it’s important. It was raining and cold with some sleet. I was wanting some wonderful luscious warmth for dinner. I just needed one of my healthy recipes.
While I began to prepare the dish, I realized that most of the time that I am cooking, I’m not having so much mind chatter. I’m concentrating on washing, cutting, measuring, browning, etc. And during all that, I may check the recipe if I happen to be using one and considering whether to alter anything in it. Yet my attention is on the dish I am cooking. It’s a peaceful time, restorative.
As I stood at the cutting board chopping carrots, I wondered why some people say they hate cooking. I had not thought about it this way before but I realized that it allows you to let go, be creative, be present and enjoy your senses in the process. You start off using your eyes to read the recipe and looking, gathering your ingredients. Then touch is added as you wash, dry and/or cut. The sound of chopping or mincing, water running, something sizzling in the pan occurs from the moment you begin to prepare the dish.
Then if you are browning anything, your smell engages. Sometimes the smell gets activated while prepping if you chop garlic or aromatic spices and herbs.Your sight might blur some if you tear up chopping onions. During the whole thing, you are creating. And the smells start to merge and create something entirely new as the aromas merge to create the whole it is to become.
The smell is enticing, luring you into the kitchen to check on its’ progress and sometimes you can’t wait for it to get done. And if you make more than needed for one meal, you can freeze it or use in a couple of days for an easy meal. Once again, you get to smell that wonderful aroma as it reheats as I am now, smelling a wonderful Italian meat sauce I made a few weeks ago.
And your reward for all this? Your tastebuds will tell you. Sometimes you may even get to sample it while it’s cooking in case you need to adjust any seasonings. The anticipation is an integral part of the whole. Sitting down to enjoy it takes you to another dimension altogether.
Yes, cooking is sensual as is eating. It’s a wonderful pleasure of life. Cooking uses the senses, nourishes your soul, engages your creativity.
Do you like cooking? Do you see it as a chore? What if you changed your perspective on it? What is your favorite dish to make?