I often experience a range of emotions in the kitchen. This is why I’m so passionate about cooking. It helps me to process, cope, overcome challenges and express myself. It allows me to grow as both a home cook and as a person. I thought it might be fun to explore further and share some examples of how to channel emotions when working with food. Here goes….
Anger: If you’ve had a bad day, you can look forward to going home and doing some chopping, dicing and slicing. You can stir something with vigor or knead all of that tension away. My favorite is pounding chicken into cutlets with a meat mallet. Breaded lemon chicken and rice would work here.
Worried: Put on some relaxing music while you prepare a tried and true dinner. Try to clear your mind and focus on each individual step involved. Be mindful and pay attention to all of the senses as you cook. Baking is especially good for these purposes. I suggest muffins, cookies or brownies. However, there is nothing wrong with popping something pre-prepared in the oven for a low key meal. A good tip may be to freeze ahead some of your comfort foods such as casseroles, soups, etc. Your biggest chores would be preheating the oven and plating once done.
Sad: Make your absolute favorite dish. It will give you something positive to occupy your thoughts. It will also provide leftovers to enjoy when energy levels are low. You can even order groceries on-line or experiment with meal kit delivery services. One pot meals are perfect for no fuss, yet tasty meals. Instant pots are wonderful tools to help you produce a hearty supper in half the usual time. Or just let your crockpot do most of the work. If you’re simply too overwhelmed to cook, just order your takeout! Pizza, anyone?
Happy: This is the time to celebrate…with food of course! Many people enjoy cooking on the weekend when they have more time to prepare. This is the ideal time for experimentation and trying that new dish that you keep thinking about. The weekend is also a good opportunity for having a nice family meal or inviting friends over to to dine and catch up. Or go out to eat at your favorite restaurant. Better yet, try something new and fun.
Grief: If someone you know has lost a loved one, a warm meal or a sweet treat is always appreciated. It doesn’t matter what you bring or even if you pick something up from the store such as a cold cut platter, chicken salad or a hot pizza. Food let’s the person know you’re thinking of them.
If you are grieving, try to stay connected with loved ones as much as possible. It helps to process by sharing memories when you’re able. My favorite thing to do is cook recipes from my loved one or try to recreate some of their signature dishes. This helps me to remember the good times and to feel their presence in some way.
Stressed: Get lost in the grocery store for a little while. Take in the sights, sounds and smells. I particularly love the coffee aisle. Gently feel the veggies in search for the perfect one. Taste the yummy samples. Redirect your attention to meal planning and thinking of fun ways to nourish yourself and/or your people. Select nutritious things that make your body feel good. Peruse the sales ads. Imagine a fun treat that you or your family will enjoy.
Reinstate taco Tuesday or Friday night pizza. Invite others in the kitchen to help. Throw in a game night during the week to check in and reconnect. Buy a rotisserie chicken to multipurpose meals and save on time. Buy someone’s fave snack and surprise them later. Thinking of others can help you to get out of your head. Make someone a special meal “just because.” Plan a delicious Sunday dinner such as a roast or ham with all of the fixings. Indulge, enjoy, reset! ✌️💜🍴
Mood Ring Kitchen
I’m a self teaching home cook and aspiring foodie entrepreneur. I enjoy coming up with creative ways to prepare flavorful food such as snacks, desserts and everything in between. Cooking is a way for me to challenge myself and satisfy curiosities about different ingredients.
The hope is to produce something thoughtful, memorable or every once in a while maybe even wonderful. I enjoy following my “gut” and exploring new recipes that can be comforting, exciting and nourishing. Above all else, I enjoy exploring the emotions surrounding food and writing about those experiences. 😝👩🍳👩💻