So for this post, we zoom in on mindful cooking, with ideas for de-stressing your cooking environment from British vegetarian cook, Anna Jones. And in next week’s post, we feature tips from the popular Headspace app, for cooking as meditation – also dubbed ’therapeutic cooking’ by Harry Ritter, MD, in this article on wellness site wellandgood.com.
Ritter says: “People should do it at a time when they can really engage in the activity and they’re not trying to multitask.” And to this end, we think making your workspace functional and easy to navigate is key. To do this, we follow the list Anna Jones opened her second cookbook, ’A Modern Way to Cook’ (2015) with, for a practise she calls ’quick, calm cooking.’
Like most people’s, Anna’s kitchen counters get cluttered, but she clears an area big enough to cook comfortably in.
This one really speeds things up. The basic basics are fine, but invest in a food processor if you’re a very slow chopper; if things are consistently burning or sticking, it’s time to invest in new pans.
With this in place for peelings and trimmings, you’ll avoid having to run back and forth to the bin. You’ll also ensure the area you’re working in is close to the stove, so you can do a few jobs at once.
Familiarise yourself with the details from top to bottom before you start doing anything. You need to know what happens when, as well as how things should be chopped and cooked.
This way, you have everything to hand before you start chopping. It’s about simplifying the process and so often when Anna asks people what went wrong, they say they burnt the onions while digging around in a cupboard for the coriander seeds.
You don’t want to be spending half an hour spent clearing out the spice shelf. Anna keeps all her spices in little labelled glass jars by the cooker, for example. If you do a lot of baking, put big markered masking tape labels on all the different flours to show their type/name, so you can grab each one in an instant.