It’s after office, and you are now rushing your way back home. While on the road, you picture yourself putting on that old apron and think of what you have to cook, trying to recall what ingredients are available in the fridge. Would the children love to have Chicken with Spinach Casserole for dinner tonight? Or just the usual Spaghetti Bolognese? Would hubby want some soup to go with it? That new recipe you have for a Yellow Tomato Gazpacho sounds just right.
Then you realize how tired and stressed you are, and that you badly need to relax tonight. But you have to prepare dinner, there’s just no getting away from this one…and on the other coming days as well. Cooking is just really part of your day. But that doesn’t mean you cannot hang loose, sit back and unwind while doing so. Make cooking fun in your kitchen!
What is it that experts always say? We have the power to redefine our thoughts and change perspective. You just need to realize that the time you spend in your kitchen is your very own me time, and you have the power to convert cooking dinner from being a hurried mish-mash of cutting, oil-spattering and pan-clanging activity into a relaxing, therapeutic and enjoyable daily moment for yourself. Make it your most valuable alone time, no matter how obligatory the task was imposed on you.
First, settle the kids in a place away from the kitchen. Let them make their assignments in the living room, far from tonight’s “sanctuary.” Or if they have the tendency to bother you constantly for answers to their homework, get them a good TV show to watch and engross them in it.
Once the kids are tucked away somewhere else in the house, throw in some music in your kitchen. Make the atmosphere relaxing by putting on sounds that would relax and pacify your senses. Play whatever chills and loosens you up. If you love classical, put on Chopin’s Piano Concerto Number Two and immerse yourself in its symphony. Or if you are into pop and rock, put on the 80s, let loose and cut, boil and fry your me hour away while bopping to Billy Idol’s Dancing with Myself. You can do exercise routines while stir-frying onions and tossing meat on the frying pan, or calm your nerves and sway to Enya’s Book of Days or Watermark.
Make your recipe a bit more exciting than your usual by experimenting on new twists – make use of a different kind of pasta, use a sophisticated type of spice or follow a completely different recipe for a change. Bored of the usual spaghetti? Try another kind of pasta – vermicelli maybe, or capellini. Or check out that tikka masala and harisa flavorings that everyone’s been raving about. You can make this seemingly tedious chore into a stimulating and invigorating experience by trying new things. Get yourself a new apron (high time to let go of the old one), fix your hair and experiment on that new eye shadow while the chicken is simmering. Grab a half-glass of white wine, and sip in-between clean-ups.
When you’re done cooking and dinner has been served, you’ll be surprised how you would look forward to tomorrow’s session – you can bring a new book to read while waiting for the beef to boil, or take that new hair curler to the kitchen and experiment on a new hairstyle.
After all, they did say that you need to have fun in making dinner and not rush yourself in cooking your family’s food. That way, the energy transmits and you and your family taste the love in it afterwards.