Hello and Happy Sunday!
Each week I have been growing more excited with each self-care tip!
This week’s self-care tip is one that I get excited about! Some of you may be a little skeptical, so I may have to shift your thinking about it. This weekend it’s all about cooking something special.
Maybe you are someone who loves to cook and maybe you dread it. You might be dreading it because you cook all the time for everyone in your house or maybe you don’t have anyone to really cook for so you think, why cook? Well, here are some reasons why I think cooking can be a form of self-care.
First, I think cooking can teach you how to be RESOURCEFUL. Have you ever gotten to a point in a recipe that you thought you had everything you needed and later realized you forgot something? Yup! I have too. What do you do? You start to search the cupboards or the refrigerator for something to replace it! Once you find that thing, that dish becomes your OWN! It could even be as simple as making some cookies to enjoy with your favorite tea! The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking! Don't forget, pull out that GOOD China too! There isn't anything wrong with having a beautiful place-setting when enjoying something special!
This is where MAGICAL things can happen! I say this because maybe that traditional family recipe becomes your own! How amazing is that? Sometimes diverging from the path has a great reward! Sure it may take practice at first, but think about all the great chefs out there, they didn’t start off as a professional.
Cooking has always had a special place in my heart because it is something my family has always embraced! The men and women! It brings us together and we get to share in a time that we get to slow down and enjoy the company. So, for my second reason that cooking can be self-care is a two for one! It can bring JOY and COMMUNITY!
It brings me joy to share what others or myself have made with our own two hands! If you have ever been to one of my family gatherings, you will know that collard greens are a BIG deal! It seems like everyone has tried to make them. Some with think they weren’t quite right on the first go around. Others who can just make you so delighted you get be there to eat all the wonderful goodness!
I will add, I have not ventured into trying to cook greens myself. I am not really sure why, but maybe it’s because whenever my Grandma Perry comes out to visit, I know we are all going to have to some collard greens while she’s here! For a little Japanese lady, she knows how to cook some mean collard greens! It makes my heart sing!
This takes me to the third reason why cooking can be self-care. I think cooking can teach us patience. I know when making collard greens it takes time. You can’t rush it otherwise they don’t come out right. Most often when cooking there is some sort of preparation of the ingredients. To make your dish look and taste good you take time to make sure things are chopped, diced, or sliced just right. When bringing to a simmer, low and slow is best. And things need time to come together to ensure all the flavor you want is there.
Patience can be a tough one sometimes. When that meat needs to REST, or baking that coffee cake that has filled the house with its sweet aroma and now needs to cool before diving in! Even when you're a guest waiting to dig into all the food that are causing the fabulous aromas!
It can be especially tough if you are cooking for yourself. Maybe you aren’t cooking for the whole family tonight, but let’s be honest, you don’t want takeout pizza either. But cooking for yourself can be a perfect opportunity to quiet the chorus on what they don’t want to eat tonight! So taking the time and preparing an indulgent meal for yourself with ALL the things YOU love can be so rewarding!
Turn on your favorite playlist on and get chopping or simmering! If you’re cooking for yourself, you get to indulge in exactly what YOU want- no complaints attached! In no time, you are going to be enjoying the perfect salmon fillet with rosemary and lemon! Ok, maybe not salmon, but to each their own! I think food should be able to fuel your soul! Keeping it in a healthy relationship and balance, food can help bring pleasure.
The next thing that cooking a fantastic and special meal can do for you is that it can bring an opportunity to CELEBRATE! Even if it turns out to be a failure! That’s right, trying something new can teach you so much about yourself, especially when we fail! We don’t learn unless we try, so learn by doing!
I remember last New Year’s Eve we had my brother in law and his family over. I had never made Beef Wellington, but oh my! I had such a desire to make it for a special occasion and this was going to be it! I knew it was a tall order, but hey- everyone was going to put on their Sunday bests and we were going to have a fabulous meal and share in some quality family time!
I was super nervous because if it didn’t come out well there wasn’t really a back-up! But I was confident it was going to be great!
From the pictures above you can see I think it was an overall success. I was hoping it was cooked a little more on the inside for personal preference, but it seemed like everyone enjoyed it for the most part! So, I’m CELEBRATING it as a success!
There were two things I walked away with that night! The first was how to prepare the meat for beef wellington. From how to tie that puppy up and trim it to perfection and that Beef Wellington may sound tough to make, but it is more about the preparation and time that it takes to make it! I am so going to make it again!
My last reason for why cooking can be self-care is that it becomes your OWN! It is your own EXPERIENCE. I think I need to add here that cooking also includes baking! Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love them some amazing baked sweet treats! I encourage you to find that one thing you love to make or it brings you joy when you make it or share it!
Sharing the labor of your hard work also can bring you joy, in return practicing a way for you to express yourself and practicing the art of self-care.
Lastly, don't let the experience be ruined either for the leftover mess! Focus on all the good it brought you. Enjoy the company and comfort of your hard work!
After I finish making a lovely meal and it's time to relax, I follow it up with a nice layer of lotion, to soothe those hard-working hands...and sometimes my feet too!
BONUS! Here's the Ultimate Beef Wellington recipe that I followed from Tyler Florence!
P.S. Post and share your favorite prepared goodies on the Anything Mama Community Group Page this holiday season! I'm always up for a new recipe!