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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Cookbooks - the journey from coffee tables to kitchen counter tops

Gathering our families into the fold and feeding our souls - Cookbooks reclaiming it's place of honor at the table

Talking Control

Cooking has becoming our therapy during these uncertain times. A way to still our minds by using our hands and focusing on something practical. And at the end of it there something to show for it - a meal ! The shopping, planning and preparation of feeding one's family has become both stressful and therapeutic. For most families who rushed through the cooking process pre pandemic era, this creative discovery of their pantry is nothing short of a revelation.

Many, like me have sworn these past months to clear out their shelves and freezers of random things. Cleaning out my cupboards has sparked innovation at mealtimes. I was also able to donate three bags to the food bank without making a trip to the grocery store, giving me a Marie Kondo feeling of accomplishment.

Recipes to the rescue

Cookbooks have became life manuals and mood-lifters. As we remained insulated in our homes with our loved ones, the aroma of spices, the warmth of cooking and gathering for a meal around the table becoming the much needed solace to keep up each other's spirits. As the weeks slip into months, many have began to tire of the mundane meals and became adventurous enough to experiment with their culinary preparation. Since we are unable to travel, food has become our escape, helping us savor a sense of freedom. Cookbooks - our virtual passports.

Social media apps are becoming flooded with pictures and well crafted vignettes of food and table offerings. Each mouth water display more colorful, exotic and palate arousing than the other. Taking a holistic approach to their employees well being some companies are even putting together a cookbook of employee recipes.

More than about Food

With so many unknowns as we enter the second phase of the Covid lockdown, many of us are feeling once again a lack of control. With limited forms of entertainment and diversion available, cooking (and baking) has become our go- to- hobby. Teenagers, three years old's and even those who have never ventured into the kitchen have becoming emboldened to venture into these unchartered territories. Cookbooks, blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, "spread a little joy, perhaps a little cooking knowhow, and eased some anxiety for people who might be lost in the kitchen,” says Samin Nosrat, the cookbook writer and host of Netflix’s Salt Fat Acid Heat".

Most like me, realize that we are fortunate to have home, employment and food on our table just as we realize that sharing food experiences can help create a sense of community while we’re socially isolated. Cooking and baking can be both a socially distant and shared experience - creating a sense of unique bonding. Even though some of us who have been cooking for a couple of decades can be heard complaining that we are sick of being tied to the kitchen - we are just as easily seduced to trying a new recipe or suggestion when watching a cooking show or browsing a blog.

Food feeds our soul, not just our body, builds memories and keeps families and relationships together. Now more that ever it is one of the simplest ways of keeping away the dark and anxious thoughts that can make its way insidiously into our psyche. Lets celebrate it, be thankful for it, let it nourish and uplift us. After all the hearth is the heart of our homes - in case we needed a reminder.

We are stronger together

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