1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Cooking as therapy...

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by Bethannie, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I was preparing Sunday lunch, and thinking how content I was feeling.
    There is just something almost therapeutic about 'podding' beans!....and hulling some strawberries from Mum's garden for dessert...
    And this got me thinking....which cooking tasks do we find therapeutic?
    In addition to the two above, I'd have to add bread-making.
    And why? Is it because I associate some tasks with childhood? ...I always loved to watch Mum make bread, and have always felt it a very 'satisfying' job.....and as children we often helped pprepare veg (- and I don't believe that the fact that children today 'don't like' veg is totally unrelated to the fact that so few of them know the joy of planting, growing and preparing veggies!)....but other childhood tasks don't leave me with the same sense of well-being!
    So, what cooking do you find works as therapy....and why?
     
  2. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I was preparing Sunday lunch, and thinking how content I was feeling.
    There is just something almost therapeutic about 'podding' beans!....and hulling some strawberries from Mum's garden for dessert...
    And this got me thinking....which cooking tasks do we find therapeutic?
    In addition to the two above, I'd have to add bread-making.
    And why? Is it because I associate some tasks with childhood? ...I always loved to watch Mum make bread, and have always felt it a very 'satisfying' job.....and as children we often helped pprepare veg (- and I don't believe that the fact that children today 'don't like' veg is totally unrelated to the fact that so few of them know the joy of planting, growing and preparing veggies!)....but other childhood tasks don't leave me with the same sense of well-being!
    So, what cooking do you find works as therapy....and why?
     
  3. All of it, but specifically:
    chopping veg (I can go into a Zen like mode)
    scrubbing and peeling potatoes (childhood memories of 7 am Sunday morning on the kitchen doorstep)
    baking and, particularly, kneading bread
    rolling out pastry
    making a sauce or ragu
    Roasting a joint does not titilate me. It is abstract, not hands on.

     
  4. Me too! Almost all of the prep can become extremely hypnotic.
    I especially like roasting and grinding spices and chopping herbs.
    Pushing anything through a sieve is great and, for as long as my hands can take it, any baking, rubbing in, kneading, mixing, shaping...
    I especially like winter cooking, all that prep then into a pan/sloco and wait......

     
  5. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    Chopping anything, kneading bread dough, and the homely smells that drift from the kitchen. I once had a flatmate who was obsessed with obliterating cooking smells from our student flat with chemical aerosols. I could never understand that. To me, the smell of homecooking as I walk in the door is what makes home HOME.
     
  6. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Cooking is therapy!
    Breadmaking, chopping veg, mindlessly stirring a sauce (in fact, I sometimes think of an excuse just to make a simple bechamel as its one of the soothing things to do!),grinding spices and chopping herbs. Baking, whisking egg whites until they're stiff...I love all of it!
    The only kitchen task I hate is washing up...but thats why I have a husband! [​IMG]
     
  7. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I have to agree about the cooking smells! That definitely goes back to my childhood. I remember the smell of the bread dough...the smell of the airing-cupboard where Mum proved the dough...and the glorious smell of home-made bread....and cake! We always ate as a family, and birthdad worked odd hours sometimes, so we would have a slice of cake and a glass of milk when we came in from school, and it was always home-made cake.
    But it's more than just smells. I have good memories of food when I was a child. (I also have at least a year when I was older that my brain has erased from my memory - so maybe I hang on tighter to the early memories that I do have?)...I remember the kitchen table - when I was little I stood on a chair and watched Omi and Mum. I could describe that table in detail even today! - and when I was older I would prepare food on that table....I kneaded my first loaf on that table...and I remember the upturned stool Mum put on the table to hang her muslin bag from when making jelly!
    When I was podding the beans today, I remembered sitting with a white bowl as a child podding beans and peas....and the strawberries - we used to pick the little wild strawberries in season, and wild blackberries, and sweet chestnuts....it seems that a lot of my memories are linked to food! I was a foodie even when i was a skinnyish little girl!
    I'm getting a warm fuzzy feeling just typing up those memories....Maybe GPs should prescribe cooking lessons and less tranquilizers for mild depression and anxiety!
     
  8. Cooking is definitely a stress reliever for me, nothing better than pottering around baking, kneading or whisking to make me feel better.

    However the mid week daily grind of cooking with a stressed out meat eating Mr W is not calming!
     
  9. Yes, I will admit the grind of providing food for your kin can be wearing.
    It is stress, get from work, cook, get it on the table...

     
  10. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Don't I know it! We didn't eat that much meat last week - and every night when I put his dinner down in front of him he looked at it like it was a horrible and scary thing. When I put his pie in front of him at lunchtime, his only remark was "You've remembered I like meat, then?"
    Anyway, the pie was 'quite nice' but would have been better if I had left 'the green bits' (tarragon) out. I've given up on him - I'll try and educate the baby...
     
  11. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Kneading bread
    The whole process of making risotto - extremely calming, as is the end result.
    The same as above, but for porridge (not for me, the instant stuff, or cooking it in the microwave!)
    All chopping of veg,
    Podding of beans or peas - also slipping the skins off broad beans if they're a bit big and tough.
    I make pasta fairly infrequently, but it's very calming to do so. Especially if making filled pasta - nothing better than to sit down with a glass of wine and a play on the radio or some music and spend an afternoon making and filling pasta. Lovely on your own, or equally with a friend or loved one.
    I don't bake much, other than bread, but when I do, I find it extremely therapeutic - rubbing flour, mixing in liquid, scraping the bowl into the tin, flattening the mix in the tin etc.
    Anything hands on - making meatballs or arancini (with leftover risotto - double the therapy!) for example.
     
  12. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    I love reading your posts, Bethannie. [​IMG]
     
  13. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    I definitely agree - you really do write wonderfully, Bethannie.
     
  14. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    And so do I, but I love everyones' contributions as well. I have a dog that has plonked herself beside me just now, and I know if I go downstairs to refresh my wineglass she will race me to the bottom ins earch food maybe, a walk maybe, some throwing of whatever she has decided is her toy of the day.
    Currently, it's the top off the starch aerosol mrs modelmaker was using to assist with the ironing today. All this takes place as I cook, of course, with the dog chasing the said top around the kitchen, ocasionionally catching it, and standing by my side panting with the damn thing in her mouth asking I stop everything I'm doing to toss it around the garden for her.
    It would be good to own once again, a dog that knew anything about food. Our last one did bless her. The current one only knows about tripping me up so far or trying to drag my arms off when we go for a walk.
    I imagine everone else gets interuptions. Tell us about them.
    Nobody's perfect, and it's good fun to share.
     
  15. karentee

    karentee New commenter

    baking, and particularly bread, I quite often do this in an evening, I like the fact that I don't have to do it, no one is waiting for me to produce it, I just make it because I like to. We always know when my mum is feeling a bit stressed as she makes pasties, I think it must be the pastry along with the cutting and slicing
     
  16. Chopping - I could chop for Britain
    Stirring - I find making risottos so soothing
    Anything I can get my hands into - bread, meatballs etc
    Jam and chutney making

    You'll think this weird no doubt - not directly cookery related, but setting the table. I derive almost as much pleasure from doing that as from cooking.
     
  17. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    I love cooking andunfortunately do find many things difficult these days as I cannot stand for long, however I make bread doing a very slow rise overnight, little kneading needed. Or do the kneading in the Kenwood. Chopping is usually done in the FP, sometimes I sit on a high stool and manage it. But most therapeutic for me is reading cookery books!
     
  18. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Jam and chutney making - YES!
    I especially love sticking my handwritten labels on them and I love having all my kilner jars lined up with all the goodies I've made!
     
  19. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Normally the phone in our house. I have such a <strike>large</strike> ginormous family on my Dad's side and not a day goes by without at least 3 of them ringing and talking for about an hour or more. On one hand I love it because I'm very close to them and I don't lose touch of what's going on as my visits home are infrequent but it does stop me from getting on with things.
     
  20. Buy a headset! It frees up your hands to carry on doing whatever you are doing.
     

Share This Page