The Whimsical Cook

So what about this mundane task that we all do every day? You know, making food; feeding ourselves and our families…

I am aware that my life is possibly not representative of ‘normal’ in my country – I live in a rural area close to the coast, 30 minutes drive to the nearest shop and I stay at home while my husband goes to work. My circumstances mean that money is in short supply and ordering take-away food is a logistical impossibility as well as a fiscal irresponsibility. I’m a healthy sort of person anyway, and I tend to be fairly choosy about the quality of the food that goes into my mouth.

What this all means is that if I want to eat something, I have to make it. And I need a well-stocked pantry that can cater for most of my cooking whims, because I can’t just pop up to the shop to grab that missing ingredient. And I really am a whimsical cook. I don’t like to eat the same thing twice in a two week period. I like to try new things all the time or I get bored. If I don’t feel like cooking, I don’t do it. This way, I get to keep on enjoying cooking which I love to do, rather than it becoming a dreaded chore, as it has for many women.

Don’t worry, I can see how it happens. I sat at our little table the other night watching as one child rolled on the floor screaming in rage about having to eat her last piece of cauliflower while the other child stood in the bathroom, vomit bowl in hand in case the little piece of pumpkin that he had just eaten would be expelled by his stomach. If you didn’t like cooking in the first place and you were subjected to this kind of nightly abuse, I can totally see why a person would just cave in and serve them frozen nuggets and noodles. I guess in the list of reasons why I prepare food for my family, making them happy is only one of many motives.

I think if motherhood has taught me anything, it is that I cannot be reliant on external appreciation in order to keep on doing what needs to be done. There has to be that part of me that gets its own reward  for doing the mostly thankless tasks around the place.

So how do you keep that that spark of the sacred burning (or even flickering) within the everyday? Everyone is different, but for me, I do things when I feel like doing them, when the energy for the task flows easily. Chores, writing, study, socialising, relaxation, creativity, cooking – all of these things are much less of a drag when I drop the schedule and just do things when I feel like it. This way of doing things is probably different from how most people go about their lives. And I haven’t always rolled like this – by nature I am quite industrious and structured, in addition to being whimsical :). But I do like to craft my life in a way that pleases me and nobody else, and I really don’t like being forced to do things I don’t want to! I have observed over my 36 years that some days I really enjoy cleaning, and I get a lot done – and some days all I want to do is curl up in a corner with a book. Some days I love to be out and about with friends and some days all I want to do…is  curl up in a corner with a book 🙂 You get the picture.

In the past few years I have been paying attention to the movements of the planets and the cycles of the moon, and that helps me make sense of my moods (you can call them whims if you like) and even predict them to a certain extent. That isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so use whatever floats your boat.

You might be thinking, “Well, it’s alright for her, but I don’t have the luxury of doing what I want whenever I want  – I have to go to work!” Yep , I get that. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t slip into the energetic flow of the day – and by that I mean tune into yourself (yes, stop doing and thinking for just one minute and ask yourself how you are feeling and what you feel like doing today) and  adapt your clothes, your conversation and your task list to your personal flow. It’s my personal motto – go where the flow leads you.

So, back to cooking – if I don’t want to cook I don’t . My family won’t starve if I don’t cook for a night. I cook what makes me joyful – and what makes me joyful changes from day to day. Sometimes I like to cook something that makes the Bear happy, sometimes I like to cook to please my children, sometimes it makes me happy to try something new, sometimes I get happy from making a meal out of our garden…and all the time I cook to please myself. Sometimes I am creative, sometimes I am nurturing, sometimes I am dutiful, sometimes I am patient and attentive to detail…and sometimes I just can’t be bothered. I honour all of these parts of me.

I have this on my kitchen wall:

If a woman could see the sparks of light going forth from her fingertips when she is cooking and the substance of light that goes into the food that she handles, she would be amazed to see how much of herself she charges into the meals that she prepares for her family and friends.

It is one of the most important and least understood activities of life, that the radiation and feeling that go into the preparation of food affect everyone who partakes of it, and this activity should be unhurried, peaceful and happy. It would be better if an individual did not eat at all than to eat food than to eat food that has been prepared under a feeling of anger, resentment, depression or any outward pressure, because the substance of the life stream performing the service flows into that food and actually becomes part of the receiver. That is why the advanced spiritual teachers of the East never eat food prepared by anyone other than their own chelas. Conversely, if the one preparing the food is the only one in the household who is spiritually advanced and an active charge of happiness, purity and peace pours forth into the food from her, this pours forth into the other members and blesses them. I might say that there are more ways than one of allowing the Spirit of God to enter the flesh of man. – Maha Chohan Electrons

And this:

You lead me and know the way, which I know not. Yet you will never keep me from what you would have me learn. And so I trust you to communicate to me all that you know for me.

And this:

Lakshmi

Because being inspired is not only important to me, it is essential.

4 comments

  1. Dear Sara,
    WOW. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this piece. I am copying down your quote.
    I love thinking about preparing food for my family in a different way. Thank you so much!!!
    Really golden words.
    😉
    Love, Lis
    xoxoox

    Like

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