A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of listening to a live interview with Nigella Lawson and was inspired by her views on cooking as a form of self-nurture, soothing and stress relief. For many people, cooking has become an unwelcome chore at the end of an over-stretched day. What if we adopted Nigella’s perspective that cooking was uplifting and something to look forward to? In her words, ‘Stirring a risotto is a great way of buying yourself 20 minutes of quiet time.’ She describes cooking as her form of meditation and mindfulness: ‘It brings me into the present moment … my mind quietens and takes up residence in my hands …’
There are so many aspects of food preparation that lend themselves to experiencing great joy. Handling fresh produce, learning new skills, being creative, tasting as you go, seeing yourself improve with practice and making a positive difference to the health of the people you are cooking for. It is equally important is to cook for yourself because cooking is an act of kindness towards whomever you are cooking for – and all too often we forget to be kind to ourselves.
Nigella’s closing advice?
‘Take pleasure in everyday things because that is where life is lived.’