Saturday, 14 April 2012

COOKING …LIFE SAVING THERAPY


Why? My hubby often asks me, am I in the kitchen most of the time even though I have a fulltime maid and cook (he is no chef). It’s a question I never ask myself as in cooking I find a pressure relief valve as no other; let me explain.

My love for cooking aside, I have always seen cooking as a creative art wherein I can challenge myself to do better each time I chop, whip, beat, fry or bake. And above all this, cooking has come to my aid as a friend many-a-times.

Those depressing days when I was stressed, filled with negativity and anxiety, it has acted as a balm to soothe my nerves and rein in my ever uncontrollable emotions and feelings. And if all the blogs and articles I have found on the net are anything to go by I am not the only one who thinks so.

Julie Powell, set out to whip up every recipe in legendary chef Julia Child's cookbook when she felt stymied by her own problems. The blog and book that resulted, "Julie & Julia," are portrayed in a film starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. More recently, cooking goddess Nigella Lawson has spoken about the satisfaction she finds in conjuring up simple gastronomic delights during difficult periods such as the deaths of her first husband, sister and mother.

The solace, the peace of mind, the fulfilment and the contentment that cooking provides me is incomparable. And even though I can’t measure up anywhere near Nigella Lawson and other well known chefs who have made a name for themselves, surmounting all odds, transforming all personal hardship into a culinary journey, I cannot but admit that I have benefitted from its healing powers.

The simple task of getting all the ingredients together, in the right quantities, putting them all together to make a delightful creation gives me direction, hones my skills and bestows the satisfaction of seeing the pleasure in my children’s and husband’s eyes gives me a high as no other; especially when he, my dear husband, is not irritated about my spending too much time in the kitchen. The details, the exact quantities and the step by step act of cooking are like therapists who take me to a place where I can relax, be myself and forget everything that has been gnawing away at my mind.

And even though my husband and I can’t digest all the culinary delights that I frequently cook up and all I inadvertently end up doing is cooking up a domestic storm, cooking will remain my safe haven, my shelter in a tempest, a shoulder to cry on, a friend I can always rely on to lift my spirits, a friend who will never leave my side even in the most difficult moments of my life.