Saturday, July 16, 2011

Meditative State

Someone asked me the other day what kind of music I listen to when I’m cooking. 
Not really an unusual question.  I love music.  I like the rhythm that it can provide.  I like that it can just be there, without much thought or interaction necessary on my part.  Music can put me into a zone, a meditative state.
I also love background noise.  Often, I have the television on for most of the day, whether I’m watching it or not.  Truth be told, it is on the game show network a lot.  I am obsessed with game shows.  I have been watching them since I was very young.  I like walking in a room, hearing a question and answering, and walking back out with no further committment involved.
Back to the question…What kind of music do I listen to when I’m cooking?  The answer is none.  I do not have the television on, either. 
Cooking, in my world right now, is done in silence.  I prefer the sound of knife to cutting board, the roll of boiling water, the subtle swish of a wooden sppon while stirring.  I get lost in the rhythm of movement, my arm slicing, the stick blender blending all the ingredients together.  I enjoy the process of solids turning into a sauce, of watching the meat turn from red to brown, pink to off-white.
And during the cooking process?  The 30, sometimes 45 minutes or more it takes?  I enjoy the cleaning.  I enjoy doing the cleaning.  Rinsing the dishes that can go in the dishwasher, washing the ones that cannot.  I enjoy putting them all away and wiping off the counter.  There is a soothing ritual about the process. 
By the time it is all done, and the food is ready, life is complete.

The meditation cooking supplies helps enhance the rest of my life.  The ability to be quiet and concentrate fully on the task at hand, to pay attention to detail, to walk away with lessons gives me the time to be myself more.  And this makes me a better person outside the kitchen.  When I can be quiet and listen, pay full attention, and know there are lessons, the world as a whole is a little more manageable.  I must learn this on my own in order to practice it with others.
Today, I ventured two recipes.  I made a coconut cake to take to a friend’s tonight.  It is made with whole wheat flour, and is a healthier choice for dessert. 
I also made lavender shortbread cookies.  I have been obsessing about these since I saw the recipe.  I love lavender.  The smell of it makes me smile.  I used locally harvested lavender fresh.

The directions say to let it chill in the fridge for two hours before cooking.  I did that!  It’s true, I learned something!



  1. Thank you for introducing the meditative side of cooking! I'm not really a good cook, but my sister is. I'll share with her this wonderful idea. It would definitely add more meaning to her cooking experiences. :-)

  2. those lavender shortbread cookies are amazing! thank you so much! I feel bad that I did not have snacks ready for you guys... next time I'll feed you, promise. : ) we had a great time anyway, though.

  3. I have never heard of cooking with lavender. What does it taste like? I love the way it smells. And I love the way that you described the sounds of cooking - that was great!

  4. It tastes like it smells, kind-of... :) It's hard to explain. My sister said the shortbread tasted like perfume, but she says that about jasmine tea, too. My personal thoughts are it tasted kind of tart and sweet at the same time. And the act of cooking with it made the house smell amazing!
    I have a good supply of lavendar, I'm going to be cooking more with it! Maybe a cake next!

  5. Interesting... I wonder how it taste..

  6. It tasted yummy! Thanks for following! Your pictures are amazing. I look forward to looking through them all! :)


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