Quarantine Changed My Relationship With Cooking!
Posted by Poonam Singh on May 18, 2020
So as the quarantine started, I adjusted like the rest of us and started flowing with whatever was showing up. I did feel a lot of relief when my schedule slowed down and didn't have to run around as much, and something did open within me (and I recognize that this isn't the case for many).
Something miraculous happened! I started to really enjoy cooking for the first time in my life!!! Although I have always enjoyed eating homemade food (and had the best home cooked food growing up,) I don't think I necessarily liked to make it. There were moments, but it wasn't a constant. And something even more amazing happened, not only did I start to enjoy it, but I found creativity and healing in the food. My children and I have always spent time in the kitchen together, but now we were in the kitchen together every single day. There was more time showing up around cooking and mealtime.
There we were making my mother's paratas, that I once was so intimidated to make. Flour everywhere and delight rolling out the dough. Trying all sorts of riatas and comparing in the differences. Making pizza from scratch seems so simple now. Exploring new flavors like arugala and lemon together. Smelling the cumin as it was roasted. Making fried rice for the time and thinking of so many of my friends who had this regularly growing up. Baking my daughter's teacher's family's banana bread recipe, and just baking in general. Making my mother n'laws dahi bhath or rasam just like she made it when she was alive. Just stuff I once thought I could never do was happening all the time and on a regular basis, and why wasn't I feeling tired of it???
I think maybe creativity is showing up in unexpected places right now, and I surprised myself that it showed up here. I'm writing this blog so I can too remember this feeling...and to reflect on WHY DID my relationship to cooking and food change?
Well, first I had the time to do so. I am not a particularly rushed person, but still I had slowed down.
Second, I didn't take for granted the trips to the grocery store and preciousness of food. I understood this to an extent before, but this went deeper.
Third, it was a family affair. We were all involved. Children eat what they are involved in making. They absolutely love every moment in the kitchen.
I even felt the presence of grandmother, mother, and aunts.
It was also so cool to see so many people in my community exploring new foods--like I can't tell you how many people I know now make bread now!!! And how cool to see people's joy sharing recipes online!
Fourth, it engaged my children. I loved all the history, math, science, lessons coming up plus all the conversations coming up. They were involved in making the food and loved trying new things out. It is truly integrative teaching.
And finally, and probably most importantly, I was cooking for ME. It felt healing to have my hands in the dough. I often found myself dancing in the kitchen. I loved listening to Beyonce and dancing and cleaning up. I would be so curious to think what do other people think of this food we made, but I knew that I wasn't doing it for approval or to be the perfect mom because I didn't find myself reacting to it at all. It was because the food felt healing to make. I was doing it for me.
Something about using our senses and hands seems important now.
Thank you for reading and do share your favorite food, recipe, or meal right now! Or please share how you are finding your own creativity right now and how it might be surprising you. :)