It has come to my attention that one of the things that really helps my mental health recently is cooking and baking. Cooking helps my mental health! So I made a Lemon Tart.
After a year (a little longer in all honesty) of shielding for me is taking its toll. It was on Sunday, when I lost myself in the kitchen all afternoon, covered in flour and grating 5 lemons, that I made the connection to how cooking helps me to switch off and relax. There is something quite therapeutic about having a recipe and following it step by step, measuring and weighing the ingredients, and seeing your efforts come together into a delicious dish.
On Sunday, I made a Lemon Tart, something that I have never attempted before, but I just went for it. Of course, you want it to work and look the same as the photo in the book, but that isn’t always the case and that is ok. We are in lockdown and I am cooking for my household, my husband, and my children, so there is no pressure for success. I like the process of following a recipe and now I have realised that keeping busy in the kitchen helps my mental health and helps me to relax that is a bonus? I can assure you that if we were entertaining (I can’t even remember what that is) I would not be calm at all and it would stress me out.
Roger and I have actually discussed the potential hazard for our waistlines if I ‘lose’ myself too much in the kitchen. Can you even believe we had a conversation about this including balancing exercise into the equation to allow for indulgent eating? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO US?
But do not fear, there is a time and place for cooking. I like being in the kitchen if I have the recipe and the ingredients and I feel inspired. But I don’t always enjoy it if I don’t have the time or the ingredients, and time, as we know, is something that during the week isn’t always there to allow us to cook indulgent meals and treats.
As a family, we too have the weekly boredom of repeat menu plans and quick meals, to fit in with schedules, so for us, it is about finding the balance of eating healthy, whilst throwing in a few nice new recipes each week to stop boredom. Because new recipes cooked from a book, take time and money especially if you haven’t made them before and you don’t have the equipment or ingredients.
We have so many cookbooks on our shelves and I am determined to start cooking from them and start documenting the process and journey. One weekend at a time. Watch this space.
Love Susan x