How Cooking Can Enhance Creativity & Mindfulness!
Cooking in the kitchen may appear to be nothing more than a necessity, however, turning a few ingredients into a magical dish helps to exercise mindfulness and enhance creativity. Transforming a handful of simple ingredients into a nutritious and appealing meal is a bit of an art – not something you’d find in the Tate Museum - but the process from raw idea (ingredients) to the finished piece (meal) means that the essence is still there.
Cooking is engaged in daily, and with this, it can be experienced as a vessel for self-expression and creativity. Creating a song or a poem expresses feelings through words, and marrying ingredients together to craft a flavoursome, colourful and delicious dish evokes something quite similar!
You don’t even need to follow a recipe - you can combine ingredients, experiment with flavours and design your meals as you please. Decisions will often be based on availability, the people eating with you and the hour of the day it’s being made. However, tradition and limitations are dying out – there are less constraints and more potential to start experimenting with food. And again, just like a song or a poem, cooking requires an understanding of harmonies – anyone can mix random ingredients together but not everyone can cook them into something good.
Acknowledging relationships between ingredients and how they interact is vital for creating a champion dish. It’s this exact consciousness which is at the heart of most creative processes, regardless of the medium used – in this circumstance, it’s food rather than paint or materials!
As well as creativity, the process of making food can help to teach mindfulness – living in the moment and experiencing the ‘here and now’. According to Zen monks, the only things that are more important than meditating (zazen) is cooking and cleaning!
Putting our mind to basic tasks, strongly focusing, and doing them intentionally until completion can help us to connect with the completed (past), task at hand (present) and how our task moves us forward (future). If we consciously think about the ingredients we select, how they’ll be prepared, the way they’re cooked and the way in which they'll be eaten, then it can all contribute towards increased mindfulness.
Stopping and eating, being patient, adding each ingredient at a specific stage and letting it cook for a precise amount of time before adding the next, is all thinking ahead and being mindful. Chucking in all your ingredients at once and hoping it tastes nice won’t produce the best version of the dish that you want to create. Whereas by using the same ingredients but carefully layering them together, and cooking them piece-by-piece, you can create a depth of flavours on a totally next level.At Simply Kitchens we look at every aspect of your family life before designing your kitchen. We believe that everyone is different and will create the perfect kitchen to fit your family’s needs.