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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cooking Therapy

Cooking Therapy

What is it I love about cooking?  The process of finding the 'right' recipes, measuring ingredients, mixing and choosing the right pan to cook in.  I love it.  It's relaxing.. it makes sense.  It makes everything feel 'okay'. :)  That all is right in the world.

When it's all finished, there is something about seeing family and friends digging in to something I've made, and the 'Oh. My. Goodness.' expression which always pleases me to no end. :)   A sin of pride, I know.

I flourish in winter.  That's the time for the homemade soups and stews... I pride myself on rich soups that have simmered literally for hours in my huge pot... the time and the care I put into it.  And love.  That's the most important ingredient.  Otherwise, it's just another pot of soup.  You can get 'any' soup anywhere.  I want to make soup that feeds not only the body, but says, "I love you!" when you eat it. :)  

My mom was, and is, the best cook in the entire world.  I know most people feel the exact same about their moms. :)  I fondly remember watching my mother fry chicken, and she always gave my daddy 'the big piece'.  And it made my heart glad.  He was 'the daddy'.  And momma and I loved him.  That huge piece of golden fried chicken was a small 'I love you'.  Mom never actually said this, mind you.  But I saw my parents say "I love you" a million different ways, without even having to say a word.  Mom loved cooking big meals.  That's simply just how we grew up.  I have heard it said that here in the South, that "food = love".  And it's true.  LOL That actually does sound kind of bad.. haahahaa.. but maybe it's because so many Southerners were born having to 'make do'.  And no matter how tight things were, dinner was a celebration.  Millions of Southern babies grew up eating grits and cornbread.  They were well fed and well loved.  

Momma gave me my first bread machine probably ten years ago.  I have made countless loaves of bread, plus dough for pizzas, rolls, and sweet breads.  I can honestly say I've never bought one of those ready to make bread machine mixes.  It just feels like cheating to me. 

I can't make everything.  I have attempted cake decorating.. my hands shake too much.  If I attempted to make a pretty cake, it would look like a drunk made it.  :)   But I can make a glorious cake... with pudding and whipped cream and nuts and cherries and pineapples... and coconut too if you like.  But I've never mastered a pie crust.  I will though, one of these days.

Tonight I was feeling a little down.. and, I did as I always do... I cook.  When I am worried or stressed... or just down in general... I cook.  I love the mixing, the baking, and the pride of seeing it come out of the oven gorgeous.   My family, of course, reaps the benefits of it all. And cook I did.  Pork chops, potatoes, fried apples, beer bread and fresh organic salad with tomatoes and grated Irish cheese.  No I didn't make dessert.  Not this time anyway.

Amy's boyfriend was over yesterday, early, to take her to the movies.  They wanted to leave early so they could get back early... since Amy had to work that evening.   So, I invited him for breakfast.  Having someone over for a meal is fun..  I LOVE feeding people.  So, of course I had to make a huge Southern breakfast.  Sausage, eggs, fruit, grits, hot chocolate or tea, and a big bowl of sliced grapefruit and tangerines.  A plate of toast, and your choice of homemade preserves.  I was rewarded.  Amy's friend left our home with his belly poking out. :)  

I remember when a family member was in the hospital and I was worried.  I cooked so much I was delivering plates to everyone we knew.  Cooking everything in the house I could find.  

I wonder what a shrink would say?  What do you say about a person who cooks emotionally?  Regardless of whether I am happy or depressed.  I do admit that when I am happy, the things I cook are things that are usually lighter, fresher, and more involved.   I wonder if I am the only mom who does this.  I have friends who clean when they are stressed.  Wow.  I WISH I had that problem! :)   I end up with a messy house, but a buffet laid out.  LOL  I'd much rather have a medically clean house, and a dinner date with hubby!  ;)

Does anyone else here do emotional cooking?  Or "Cooking Therapy" as I call it.   (By the way, I am also quite fond of Shopping Therapy) ;)  Haahaa!!


  1. Susan,

    Cooking therapy? I love that! When I have something on my mind, I am more likely to clean the house. I walk around doing things with my thoughts elsewhere.

    I used to do all the cooking and then Andy discovered he loved cooking so he took over. Now the girls fight me to get into the kitchen. Actually, I don't put up much resistance. I love having people cook for me. And where would they be without anyone to appreciate their efforts? I am quite content to sit on the kitchen stool and chat while someone else puts the meal together.

    We are ideally suited as friends, Susan. When I visit, I shall pull up a stool and chat to you and enjoy watching you cook. Later, I will be a most appreciative guest and eat everything you put on my plate!

    I loved hearing about how your parents showed their love for each other.

    I don't suppose any of your food would survive a plane trip to Australia. Pity!

    Happy cooking!

  2. You have made me hungry.

    I'm very good in the kitchen ... but no one agrees with me except our dog!

    God bless.

  3. If I am angry, I clean house with a vengeance. But cook like crazy when I'm in the best of moods :-)
    God Bless, Kathie (MemoriaDei on Google)