I never really understood that saying, “Cooking is my therapy.” Until now…Now, I get it. Cooking is my therapy. This wasn’t always the case. Though it has many positive effects on others, it varies from person to person. I didn’t really do much in the kitchen until about 7 years ago. After I was home recouping from a surgery, cooking was one of the few productive things I could do. I played with some recipes, experimented, and here I am. Chasing my kitchen curiosities has led me brought me so much gratification and joy. Sure there have been many failed recipes, burnt steaks, and messed up lobster…but it’s all been worth it.
When someone I care for is sick, I prepare their favorite dish and throughout the entire process, I think of them, hope they get better and visualize that they’re all better. Very similar to prayer, it’s not forced and is a very natural process where I receive joy in knowing that they will enjoy my dish and will get better soon. From thinking up the recipe, prepping, praying, cleaning to receiving the message that they’re all better.From start to finish, I enjoy the entire process.
When I’m the sick one, I crave my late grandma’s home cooking. When I was younger and in the hospital, she cooked me my favorite pork and tomato broth and nothing ever tasted that good. When I’m sick, the process of recreating my grandma’s recipe and thought of her, immediately brings back wonderful memories. Sometimes, I hear her voice guiding me in the kitchen and she’s more present than ever. My grandma was an amazing cook and when she was alive, my kitchen curiosities were not present. How I wish I can pick her brain and share just another minute with her. Recreating her dishes finds a way to my heart and when the final dish is complete, it’s as if she’s there too. It brings truth to the saying, “It’s funny when you’re dead how people start listening.”
When I miss someone, cooking does the trick. Be it my friend, Judy’s amazing torte recipe or my cousin Pat’s famous banana bread recipe, cooking brings me closer to them. I think of them through the process and when the end product is completed, I like to think that they’re proud of me.
Recipes are that powerful. Cooking has the ability to connect people; ignite palettes and bridge generations of love. It percolates the creative juices, can connect you to loved ones and manages find a way to warm up hearts and souls.
What does cooking do for you? Put food on the table? Express love? Is it more than just a chore? I’d love to hear from you.