Over the past while, I've been developing a skill that most who've known me from a past life might be shocked by. I am learning how to cook and bake and am thoroughly enjoying it.
It started out with someone in my life making the effort to cook meals from scratch for me and educate me about the harmful effects of processed foods. Admittedly, I wasn't entirely on board with this at the beginning. I chose to live in ignorance. I enjoyed returning home after a stressful day of work and doing the absolute bare minimum in terms of giving myself sustenance because I just didn't have the energy. I preferred to nurture myself with sin rather than something wholesome because I believed its enticement was unfeigned.
I remember many a car ride while driving past the golden arches in which I defiantly proclaimed "just let me have a freakin' burger!".
But my friend was unbowed. He continued to demonstrate the creativity that could be utilized in the kitchen and this drew me in. Food wasn't just food anymore. There was a blend of artistry and science that compelled me to explore on my own.
And now I've become a food snob.
I am just in the initial stages but my eating habits have completed changed. I no longer crave fast food or anything that is convenient in the frozen aisle. I visit the grocery several times a week and buy everything fresh and - as was taught - make as much from scratch as possible. While work stress remains, I genuinely look forward to returning home and spending time in my kitchen, mixing and seasoning, chopping and kneading. In a sense, I now preserve my energy for it. It has become my time for zen. A moment with myself where I get to nourish both my belly and mind.
Perhaps the best compliment I've received on this new path is from my best friend (and now tastetester). After sampling some sticky toffee pudding I made, her reaction was "if I were a dude, I'd marry you."
Last weekend I baked pumpkin chai muffins. They were absolutely delicious! The recipe can by found in the amazing cookbook "All The Sweet Things".