Now that the cabinets have arrived and my dad is coming back to install them, I’m already making plans for what I’m going to cook in my new kitchen.
The last time I went through this kind of desperate and obsessive planning was when I did a 5 day cleansing fast where I lived off of water and 5 fiber filled shakes per day. By day 3, my every waking thought was consumed with eating and cooking. On the last day of the fast, I made a wonderful golden chicken stock from scratch which would then become the basis for the matzoh ball chicken soup I would take as my first meal to break the fast. Taking my time in the kitchen, handling each ingredient and methodically chopping it into its proper size, anticipating how wonderful the soup was going to be, and finally savoring my first meal after the fast — it was all very therapeutic and rewarding.
When eating your first meal after a fast, your senses are in overdrive. You take time to inhale the fragrance of your food. Having put all your ingredients together by hand, you smell each ingredient from the wonderful marriage of your finished dish. Before you take your first bite, your eyes start devouring the colors and textures sitting on your plate or in your bowl. Then, your hands greedily scoop up a portion in your fork or spoon, and you experience heaven once the food brushes your lips like a first kiss.
Having lived exclusively off of takeout for the past 6 weeks, I feel like I’ve been fasting the entire time. Actually, I have. I’ve been fasting from home cooked meals and I’ve been deprived of the experience of cooking. Before this experience, I really took for granted what cooking meant to me. I often avoided doing it on weeknights because I’m such a poor meal planner and a lot of what I bought from the store went to waste on just one person. Now, I’m resolved to be a better cook, better grocery shopper and better meal planner. I want to use cooking to nourish me emotionally as a therapeutic daily ritual as well as physically.