This time of year my office is a much quieter place than it is in the summer and the first thing on my mind when I get home is to change into some comfortable track pants and relax with a glass of wine. Curling into a corner of my couch should be enough to soothe the winter blahs I feel at the end of a long day, but it isn’t.
What relaxes me most, what softens the reality of a dark winter day, is cooking. And although I typically cook only for myself, I enjoy creating a food experience rather than just making something to eat. I like to think of food as an encounter more than just a necessity. Food should nourish but food should be enticing. I don’t just put my dinner on a plate. I want my meal to have an attraction beyond taste and, even if I am only cooking for one, I will put that effort into the presentation of my meals.
There is something truly invigorating about inhaling a combination of smells that you know blend into an amazing taste medley. And the effort of cooking these meals for one is not as taxing as people would think. A simple preparation of “real” food takes a few more minutes than opening a package of processed food and putting it in the oven, but the benefit far outweighs the effort.
Perhaps the artsy side of me weighs heavily on my plating but, regardless of the reason, I continue to put a concerted effort into each dinner I create. I take great pride in knowing that I nourished, not only my body but, my eyes and my mind. Food feeds the soul as much as it feeds the engine and as I dig into my meal I always feel happy knowing I didn’t reach for that can of Alphaghetti!