“The kitchen is an enduring place of comfort and the food which comes out of it provides essential sustenance, not just for body but for soul too”
So, my Vino Years are supposed to be about ‘me-time’, and that means relaxing, pampering and spoiling myself rotten, right? Well yes it does, if that’s what I’m in the mood for, and if that’s what I need to do to feel good at the time. However, feeling good doesn’t have to mean whipping out the credit card and buying that £300 handbag you’ve been eyeing up in Harvey Nicks window, or booking yourself into a luxury spa for the weekend, although I have to say I wouldn’t need my arm twisting to spend time on either of these activities!
Sometimes, the best quality me-time is just about taking time to appreciate and enjoy the simple things in life. You know, those things that give us a warm, comforting feeling inside, and put a perfectly content smile on our face. For me, that could be a walk in the park when the ground is crisp and twinkling with frost like it’s covered in tiny little diamonds; lingering for a while over the marvellous smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning; or locking the bathroom door and sinking into a hot bubbly bath, surrounded with candles – good book in one hand, glass of vino in the other (I haven’t done this for what feels like years - must make time soon). It may be that cleaning the house top to bottom, changing the beds, mowing the lawn and cleaning the car (all before 9:30am on a Sunday morning) gives you a feeling of happiness and contentment, and if that’s the case, brilliant, knock yourself out, whatever floats your boat!
My point is, as long as you’re taking moments to ‘indulge’ in whatever makes you feel good, be that working out or pigging out, having a well deserved lie-in or jumping out of bed with the larks, being alone or in a room full of people, it really doesn’t matter (well, obviously, as long as it’s not breaking the law or hurting anyone!) Nor does it matter if the feeling lasts for 5 minutes or for 5 whole days, every little bit of feel-good time you can grab for yourself, doing exactly what you want to do, counts (and 5 minutes is better than nothing at all).
So, that said, what’s been giving me that warm, cosy feeling inside, how have I been spending my me-time? Well, I’ve been taking time to enjoy my kitchen, and a bit of leisurely cooking. Now I know cooking is seen by some as slaving needlessly over a hot stove (and why would you, when ‘ping’ meals are cheap and plentiful?!), and I’m sure there are lots of people out there who certainly don’t consider cooking as a way of spoiling yourself. However, judging by the many massively popular cooking shows on TV these days, the endless choice of celebrity cook books on offer, not to mention some of the fabulous cooking blog posts out there, clearly many more people see cooking as an enjoyable, satisfying and quite literally delicious way of spending their time.
Life can be hectic, and I admit I’m no stranger to convenience food, but weekends are the perfect time to get in the kitchen, and create some sizzling sounds and wonderful smells. Some may like a bit of help in the kitchen but, personally, I’d rather be left to get on with it. No-one under my feet getting in the way, favourite tunes on loud, sipping a nice glass of red as I go. Then, when I’m done chopping and slicing, beating and baking, and my dish is cooked and presented to perfection, what better than sitting down and sharing the fruits of my labour with my nearest and dearest? Add a few beers or a bottle of wine, plenty of laughs and good conversation, and you have comforting, simply delicious, quality me-time that just can’t be beaten (well, perhaps, except for that £300 handbag in Harvey Nicks or a weekend at the Spa ;-)).
Only thing left to do now is decide who’s doing the clearing up!
Why not take a peak at my Fodder & Beverage page, where you'll find a few ideas to cook up in your very own kitchen - don't expect anything too fancy though! Whilst I might occasionally dabble in 'posh nosh' for special occasions, my cooking's mostly about keeping it simple, hopefully creating wholesome culinary pleasures and kitchen comforts for anyone who cares to join me.