As I lie in my bed about to write about how much I like to cook and how it aids my mental health, I must remind myself that when I am unwell, cooking is a chore and a real effort. This is not a post to say that cooking and making meals is easy, or has solved my mental illness because let’s be honest, it’s not easy and nothing is going to solve the puzzle of my personality. However, cooking (when I’m able) helps with my mental health.
I enjoy the process. Bringing the food together. The art of shaping certain foods into chunks, sticks, grinding them, dicing them. I enjoy the different smell each food item has. I enjoy the organisation, the timings, the steps. One thing done, onto the next. I enjoy the way that things sizzle in a hot pan, and the sounds of things boiling. I love the colours, the brightness of certain foods, and watching as a spice can change the whole look of whats being made.
The thing I enjoy the most however is the first taste. I enjoy knowing the food I make tastes good, and I love that moment of truth. Will it taste like its supposed to or have I cocked it up? Will it taste like it smells? Will it taste how it looks? Will it be something worth making again?
I sit down and after having taken a picture of my creation, either posting it online or saving it for future reference, I take my fork and knife, and carefully select a mixture of all the ingredients. It is always worth it.
Cooking is a therapy I enjoy. It’s a process that can be completed and the results of which are always a product of the effort I put in. It’s something I like to improve on and test myself with. It’s something I am also able to provide other people with. Having a bad day? What comfort food would you like, I’ll make it for you.
Food is social and personal and I love it.