Cooking has been a big part of my life. In fact, cooking has always been a big part of our lives up until recent times. Hunters and Gatherers have been procuring and cooking meats and plants for a very long time. Naturally, I am drawn to these skills that are timeless.
There is more to get from cooking and eating than just calories. It is a way to become more in touch with your body and the world. Most of us take for granted where our food comes from and there are many who have never partaken in cooking. This is no judgment, just an observation, everyones journey is different.
Due to living busy lives, it is easier and quicker to order out and decide not to cook. In doing this you are saving time but also neglecting to acquire proper nutrition. Not all home cooked meals take an hour to cook. You can find and design meals to fit your schedule and skill level. Even taking an extra 10-20 minutes away from the TV will give you more time to cook.
Like anything, cooking can become monotonous and boring. Similarly to an earlier article, 'Part of Nature' finding interest in the different aspects and details gives cooking more depth. There are a whole host of sensations involved with cooking. Being aware of these is being mindful.
Diving deeper on that idea; from the literal ground up, try to think about your meal and where it all came from. Starting with the fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts and seeds that grow from the soil. Then the animals that most of us, are fortunate to acquire without the effort of raising and harvesting. Be aware how their energy then gets transferred to become your energy through cooking, chewing and digesting.
Adding more layers, someone harvested these foods, perhaps you even grew or harvested the plants and animals you are eating; all the more connection to the process. When shopping try to be aware of what you are buying and the freshness as well as how you plan to cook it.
Preparing food for cooking can be menial or it can be mindful. You can dig deep and find so many little layers that add up to this process. Sharpening your knife before prep work, listening the sound of the metal scrapping the sharpening stone. Feel the sensation and the satisfying chop of a carrot. Smell the different ingredients and spices. Look at the colors of the food, the varying textures as well.
In the process of food prep you are laying out the building blocks of your meal. How cool is that? If you give enough focus you can be present for every step. In order to cook a more complex meal, it requires a good deal of timing, and that will not always unfold perfectly.
The actual cooking. Your pan is on the stove top and has been heating for five minutes or so. Adding in the olive oil, hearing the sizzle. This oil is not just to prevent the food from sticking to the pan, it is adding flavor and healthy fats. Once the pan is coated you can add in the vegetables and listening to the roar of the pan.
Next is seasoning the food, one of my favorite parts. This is a big decision, the spices and herbs will dictate a lot of the flavor. Salt and Pepper are ones that go with any dish. But you must decide what flavors you want. Maybe a Mexican style dish with Oregano, Cumin, Chili Powder and Cilantro, perhaps an Italian style with Parsley, Basil and Red Chili Flake. It does not take a lot of variety or time to discover the flavors you enjoy. Not only is there flavor provided by the seasoning but also more nutrients.
Cooking and eating is an essential part of our lives. We may as well focus on enjoying it as much as possible. Cooking and eating is a daily thing, we can view it has drudgery or as an opportunity for a mindful experience.
Thank you for reading this article. Cooking has helped me grow and learn in many ways, I hope it can do the same for you!
Hunt, Fish, Fitness.
Peace and Love