There is nothing quite like a moment alone when no one else is around and there’s no one else to answer to. The house or apartment is otherwise empty and the music you play is not open for discussion or interruption.
The weather outside is unobjectionable and fine but more to the point; nothing is imposing, and for the moment, the only thing pressing is the moment we’ve chosen for self-care and personal preservation.
I am a firm believer that food is love. The best part of this love is some of the best meals I have ever made for myself were at times like this. I was alone but not lonely by any means.
There was no one else around. There was no one but me and the music, which played in the background as I entered the kitchen.
I set some pasta up for the boil and took a pan to heat up and make nice and hot with some olive oil and crushed garlic. I threw in a little butter and chopped up some tomatoes. I threw in some sliced black olives with a hint of a little red wine and simmered this for a while.
And since I like heat, I offered some red pepper flakes and mixed this in with a few capers, some sliced baby portobello mushrooms, a small amount of tomato paste, and sliced up some chicken cutlets to add the mix.
I added the cooked pasta to take on the flavors from the sauce. I stirred this all around, and yes, there were more steps. There are probably different ways to cook meals like this too. There are probably countless people out there that cook all the time with a list of things I missed. And that’s fine. But what I remember most was the total freedom of complete disregard for everything else at the moment. There was no such thing as outside opinion. No, the only thing that mattered at this moment was the moment itself, which was mine.
(Do you see what I’m trying to say here?)
What I remember most about times like this is the feeling I had. The music was right. There was no pressure, no tension, and there was no need for the back and forth banter with the internal narratives that come with overthinking too many things at once.
The music you choose is important when taking on a day like this. If you ask me, I think the music sets the stage. I think the music we choose helps support the movement and celebrates the freedom we have to feed ourselves. More to the point, if you ask me, I think everyone needs a day like this. The meal itself is only a vehicle. Whether the meal is a pasta dish or some other favorite. The food itself is secondary.
The best part of this is sitting at the table. The meal is made exactly to your liking. There is nothing quite like this. There is nothing as special as one feeding themselves, or wait, no, there is nothing better than nurturing one’s self because yes, food is love, and oftentimes, the most loving thing one can do for themselves is feed their needs in a way that no one else can.
I have had days like this in my life. I have had them in the face of serious downfalls. In times of personal tragedy, the best thing I ever did for myself was learn different healthy ways to grieve, process, and improve through different means of self-care.
I tell you no lie, when the music is right and the meal you’ve created is made to your liking; and when nothing else matters, no one from the outside world is able to impose because you’ve shut the ringer to the phone to avoid interruptions, and when the moment alone is a perfect distraction to feed yourself, the result is absolutely amazing.
I have an old friend that told me about his Mom’s tomato soup. He said his Mom used to make this all the time, and for some reason, this was always a “Go-to”dish when he was having a hard time.
Now, I’ve never had his Mom’s tomato soup but I do understand what he means. My Mom used to make the best mashed potatoes. I’ve taken a few liberties with her recipe and while not exactly like Mom’s, I can say that the best ingredient is the intention behind the meal itself.
Maybe there are other dishes I could make, like say, the times I made a stew in the slow-cooker, or the venison chili which was awesome (although, I overdid a little bit with some of the spices), but either way, I say we all need days like this.
Maybe your meals and tastes are different from mine but nevertheless, everyone needs a day when they can disconnect and feed themselves. We all need to hit the reset button from time to time.
(So we can heal.)
Picture it. think about your best “Go-to” meal.
What would it be?
What would you cook?
More importantly, what music would you play?