I have been spending a lot of my time cooking lately, and judging from my Instagram feed, it seems that I am in good company. Even though I've never been one to shun the kitchen (a good part of my time as a 20-something food writer was spent testing recipes submitted by chefs for accuracy), I have always been a bigger fan of quick fixes — veggies put to roast in the oven while I shower, salads hurriedly thrown together when I get home after a long night of teaching, and any tried-and-tested recipe that preferably requires no more than five ingredients and 20 minutes from stove to mouth.
But as I eased into the spirit of slowing down, my harried kitchen personality also began to lighten up. I found myself perusing cookbooks buried at the back of my shelf, my eyes no longer skipping tedious recipes with long ingredient lists. As I began to treat my vegetables with more reverence, peeling and chopping with care, I realised how satisfying mise en place actually was. Bit by bit, my time at the stove became less of a means to an end, and more of a moving meditation — one fuelled by equal parts imagination and flavour sensibility.
Now, I can't say that every dish I've cooked so far hits the flavour jackpot, but there is an irreplaceable gratification that comes with knowing everything on my plate was washed, sliced and cooked with loving attention. Wouldn't you say that's like a yoga practice, taken off the mat and into the kitchen?
I wish you nourishment, both at your dining table and on your mat.
With all my love,