Sunday, November 5, 2017

Day 243 My Great Stress Cook- Off

My blog inspiration book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from, a Little Golden Book recommends, “Learn to cook”. I never thought that I would use that book page in this blog because I am such a bad cook and I actually really hate to cook. I know it’s shocking -an Italian girl that does not know how to cook. I wish I had a dime for every time I heard, “You’re Italian and you don’t cook”! 

Today my happiness meter went into the “critical red zone”. Why my stress  level  was in the red zone: whether it’s a product of work, my relationships, or my child is irrelevant, but what matters is the way I choose to circumvent  potential despair. I don’t drink, use drugs, shop much, or sleep it off, so I decided to try something new –cook!

First, I must give you the background of why cooking is significant. I am the girl that calls her girlfriend for support every Thanksgiving (and I am not a spring chicken so it's not like the dinner is  my first rodeo). One year when pressed for time, I tried to defrost   the turkey in the microwave-don’t worry no  one died that year.  My mother even once said, “I know that you mean well but you really don’t have to bring us dinner. You’re really not that good of a cook”.  You get the picture- I can’t cook!

zucchini, mushrooms and onions sprinkled with cheese

In an effort to self-actualize, I have tried Blue Apron (See Day 114) and I cook about once a month with a good friend.  Another friend even bought me all new spices this year because she said that my 10 + year old ones were just not going to cut it. So maybe  I have self-actualized  a bit in this area but it certainly is not in my modus operandi  to cook my way out of stress.

spaghetti squash -scraping  stress relief

I must say that it worked.  I was like Forest Gump but instead of running, I just kept cooking. I was in Energizer Bunny mode.  I just came home from  church this morning and had a cooking spree for the next 6 hours!  

Now let me clarify that I made simple things, comfort foods. I used things that needed cooked in my refrigerator but I did so without much of a recipe and with limited calls to my cooking friends.  I improvised and created my own dishes!  Isn’t  that what real cooks  do?

Red sauce and meatball  with spaghetti squash
I am not sure why I was able to cook myself out of potential sadness. Maybe it’s because cooking  keeps you so busy. My brain was on vacation as I thought about my own creations. Maybe  it’s like art, when you are cooking you're creating.  Maybe because it gives you a sense of  accomplishment. In any event, I recommend it!

Tuna Noodle casserole- comfort food 
I think  Ruth Reichl  (Los Angeles Times turned New York Times food critic) was right when she said, “The secret in life is to find joy in ordinary things" and as long as she lived she would have a passion for food and stories (see Day 146).

I might even  look forward to Thanksgiving for the first time this year!

Spiritual Reflection
"No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life ..I will not leave you or forsake you." (Joshua 1:5)