Cooking is not easy. Trust me, I’ve been doing it thrice a day, everyday for a while now. It involves planning, knowing what you have in the fridge and what you need to buy. It requires you to stand in the hot, stuffy kitchen, stirring that pot even as sweat runs down your spine. Sometimes, it isn’t even rewarding because things don’t always rise up or fall through as you had expected them to and you end up with unpalatable, bad smelling mush on a plate. That is bloody frustrating! Cooking is tough. And I’m not even talking about the Master Chef variety of cooking; That’s a whole different ball of wax! I’m talking about the everyday, three meals on the table kinda cooking. It’s tougher than most people think it is. Yet, I think everyone should cook.
Why, do you ask? It’s simple. I have a feeling that the world would be a better place if everyone cooked. It is character building. It makes you respect so many things about life. And teaches you so much more. First of all, It makes you respect the people who put food on your plate when you were little. It is humbling to say the least. You remember all those times where your mom slaved in the kitchen for hours to serve you dinner (And you hate yourself for having scrunched up your nose at the food back then because now you know just how much effort she took to feed you good food! When this happens, Go hug her if you can… or call her…) Cooking teaches you preparing, multitasking, thinking on your feet, patience and the beauty of symphony. It makes you a better person.
But beyond all that, I think cooking relaxes you in ways that most other things don’t. I know.. I just said it is very difficult… yet, it is relaxing. It is soothing. Quoting from Julie and Julia: “I love that after a day when nothing is sure – and when I say ‘nothing’ I mean nothing – you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort”
Don’t you ever have those days when nothing is going as per plan? Trains get delayed. Unseasonal rain drenches your precious charts. Crappy meetings are followed by crappy meetings and you meet absolutely no sweet strangers on your way home. In short, nothing happens the way you had wanted it to. When I have such days, I just put on my apron and step into my kitchen. I have a small kitchen but it is my little piece of heaven. I get in there and pull out my mixing bowls. For the record, I ALWAYS have baking supplies because baking is my comfort cooking. I mix my cake batter and even before I beat the eggs into it, I find myself humming. By the time the cake is in the oven, I have a smile on my face and when the timer dings to announce the rising of a fabulous cake, I am practically euphoric again! I planed to make a cake and I made it! My world is the right side up again! There is very little in the universe that comforts me like that does.
Trust me, learn to cook. The first few times will not be easy. There will be charred pans and burns on your arms. But eventually, if you keep at it, you will find your comfort recipe; the one thing that you find so comforting to make that it becomes a part of your muscle memory. Despite the craziness of it, I like my everyday cooking a lot. In a life so unsure and unstable, it gives me great joy in knowing that I hold the reigns. I am in charge. It gives me a sense of power and confidence even when I am making the simplest of things. But baking…. That’s my me-time. Some people like to chill with a drink… or read a book while drinking hot chocolate… I bake. And i am pretty good at it! You will never find me in a bad mood when I am baking. It makes me a better person!
So that is why I think everyone should cook because in the kitchen, once you find your comfort, you become a better person. And God knows, this world needs better people. Imagine this; the leaders of our nations, tired after a day of running the country, head to their respective kitchens and bake their way into relaxation. Then, sitting with each other at the end of the day, stress free, they’d make good decisions while eating their creations and making yummy noises… wouldn’t that be a good world to live in..?