The Joy of Cooking?

I will never fit into a size eight dress and I’m pretty happy about it. Why? Because I love food. From broccoli to Big Macs, I find much more joy in eating, crafting and admiring food than I do in having a sculpted ‘rig’.

Now, I’m no chef but I have worked in hospitality for almost a decade, so I know my way around a kitchen. Over the next five weeks, I’ll explore how culinary production might indeed be my psychological salvation as well as my financial one.

Today I made a chicken, leek and mushroom pot pie with some token greens for myself and my roommate. The meal itself was an absolute success – perfectly thickened sauce, tender chicken and golden puff pastry.

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The lead up to this magnificent beast of a pie wasn’t so great. I’d gotten some bad news about my catastrophic housing situation, so I was already in a rotten mood when I arrived at Aldi to buy the ingredients for dinner only to find that it too was closed for renovations. Annoyance. When I eventually procured the necessary items and set myself up in the kitchen, I proceeded to smash my phone beyond repair. I then opened a bottle of cheap white wine and drank approximately the whole thing. My dear roommate was also down in the dumps after an awkward family altercation.

Yet as the cooking continued we both started to perk up. The aroma of the mushrooms and leek sauteing calmly in the butter and flour was one of home, of safety. The browning pastry in the oven was as satisfying as perfectly scratching all the day’s itches.

While I don’t cook often, I have always felt that there is some kind of magic in it. What should really be a stressful situation – following rules and adding fire to flammable items – is often methodically calming. A good feed with friends can’t go too wrong either.

All in all, after a piss-poor day, cooking a delightful dinner successfully and getting on the piss, as it were, did induce a significant amount of happiness.

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