I’m not sure whether I’m alone or not in this but I find cooking one of THE most relaxing and therapeutic pastimes (Perhaps it’s because I’m a home cook and not a Michelin starred chef). During this pandemic year, we’ve seen so many favourite cooking recipes flying around haven’t we? Banana bread, sourdough bread, soups, best breakfasts… the list goes on. I think this highlights not that people were bored (obviously there were a lot of bored times for us all) but that people enjoy tootling around their kitchens and spending time there as a way of relaxing. Pre-covid, I’m sure that a large percentage of these banana bread bakers didn’t have the time. As a nation, so many of us are on the treadmill of life, caught in the rat race. It’s just so difficult to get off once you’re on. Sadly it’s taken a pandemic for us to realise that so many of us are time poor people. I’m hoping now that more of us will have realised the mental health benefits of mooching around the kitchen and keep it up. No pressure, can you save you money and most importantly, ease away some of life’s stress.
With regards to putting pressure on yourself, I find labelling myself a ‘home cook’ (please note that I am labelling myself as this) takes it away. I don’t worry if the dish doesn’t look picture perfect or resemble something that Marco Pierre White might offer up. As long as I know it’s edible, it’s good to go (within reason). I usually have music on in the background and having been watching the latest series of Nigella’s Eat Cook Repeat I’ve also invested in some fab little fairy lights – prior to that I have soft lighting and candles. It’s so calming, you can’t fail to feel good. The lighting, accompanied by the waft of home cooking (think banana bread, garlic and olive oil etc etc) is just like one big comfort blanket.
Remember being a home cook is not all about fancy recipes (unless of course you enjoy doing that kind of thing) it’s about using great ingredients and creating something delicious to indulge yourself or to share with your family or friends. It’s true that food really does bring people together.
So, if you’re a pandemic cooking convert, remember how proud you were when you took out your banana bread and how much better it seemed to taste. Find some simple recipes to add to your portfolio and keep cooking.
Home cooking brings you and your family together, saves you time and money, is healthier and most importantly, is good for your soul. It really is the best relaxation therapy ever.