Why are we so interested in getting everything done in a hurry? I know, I know: not everybody has the luxury of being able to spend an hour(s) in the kitchen preparing meals. Most don’t even get to sit down very long (if at all) at the table for breakfast and lunch.
While I was stuffing some pasta with a ricotta mixture this morning, I thought that people might enjoy cooking more if they slowed down. If they thought of it as an artistic hobby rather than a daily drudgery… Sure, you can whip something up from the Quick Cooking magazine, but every so often (maybe on a weekend) take your time.
Plan: Writers have rough drafts. Painters have sketches. Think about what you want to achieve and how to time it so that the temperature, taste and texture will be perfect.
Shop for just one meal. Maybe even spend a little more for higher quality ingredients.
Think about presentation: is everything on the table brown, yellow, and white? Mixing the colors is not only appealing to the eye, it can reflect a variety of nutrients.
Portions: be sure to give enough, but remember that quantity doesn’t always mean quality. For example: you will probably be quite satisfied with a small square of high quality chocolate, whereas if you go for the cheap milk chocolate you’re likely to want 2 or 3 of the calorie-laden candybars.
On Saturday I was talking to one of the teenagers about piano practice. What our teachers demand in the way of Hannon exercises or theory might not seem as easy as our own methods at first. Over time, however, the slow and thoughtful effort pays off.
So, perhaps at first the slow cooking strategy may not help you relax…maybe you’ll even stress out thinking that you should be getting a dozen other things done. But after a little practice, you’ll improve and begin to enjoy what you accomplish and even be eager to share that joy with others.