Eating our way to Happiness...
I can’t stop thinking about food! I’m hooked on Instagram, images of perfectly steamed bao buns filled with crispy tofu and pickled vegetables, freshly baked cinnamon rolls dusted with sugar, flavoursome and bubbling chana masala, dripping ice-cream and an endless variety of banana bread.
The simple routine of preparing food has now become my focus. When everything else is in flux, food remain the stalwart. Simple food pleasures can be an effective de-stressor and trigger feel-good hormones. No one culinary cuisine can take precedence over another, it’s personal choice. Whether you get your cooking kicks from being Gary Rhodes in the kitchen or prefer a bag of family size hula hoops while binge watching every box set you can get your hands on, so long as it causes bubbles of happiness to fizz and pop in your brain, then that’s all that matters.
Uncertainty breeds fear and restrictions on our movements in the last couple of weeks, coupled with a daily trickle of unrelenting new feeds of doom and gloom have been unlike anything we have ever experienced before. Food can at least give us a sense of control, if the spate of stockpiling showed us anything, forearmed is forewarned.
At a time when we can’t pop to visit family, share a glass of wine with a friend in your local or enjoy lunch out with work colleagues, we can at least stock our kitchens with pasta and tinned soup. This is not a war, thank God. Many people are invoking the spirit of the blitz – and some of us are certainly digging for victory, judging from the fact that vegetable seeds have been bought in vast quantities. But we are not having to make do with wartime rations. Knowing that we have a store of the half a dozen things we dread running out of can make us more equipped to summon up the reserves of patience and humour we are all going to need over the next few weeks which is why I’m indulging in a modest amount of comfort eating, and taking pleasure from this peaceful act.
It’s not about big showy 4 course meals or haute cuisine, its butter melting on a baked potato, vinegar splashed over piping hot chips, teeth sinking into crusty bread or enjoying the baked on remains around the rim of a dish of apple crumble! Hot pizza boxes on your lap, the snap of chocolate biting into a Magnum, the smell of bubbling cheese on toast, fresh coffee aromas early in the morning, the sizzle of slowly fried onions, sweet popcorn in a bowl and the perfectly crisp first bite of an apple. Everyone’s food pleasure is different, they evoke memories, stir emotions, even bring us closer to loved ones we can’t be with, all curated beautifully on the end of a fork or between our fingers. As someone once said, food, like a loving touch, or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort,