When Home Cooking Becomes Self-Care: 63 Moments to Notice in the Kitchen

Food cooking in a cast iron pan over a coal fire
From a seamless crepe flip to the cheese pull from the first bite of your grilled cheese, here are 63 of our favourite meditative moments in the kitchen. 

Mastering the art of mindful cooking isn’t easy. But for those who love the heat of the stovetop, the rhythm of a sharp knife on a cutting board, and the smell of toasting aromatics above all else, cooking can be as relaxing as a trip to the spa: it’s all about savouring the precious details that make cooking so special. From a seamless crepe flip to the cheese pull from the first bite of your grilled cheese, here are 63 of our favourite meditative moments in the kitchen.   

 

  1. Licking the batter off a spoon. 
  2. Pulling fresh chocolate chip cookies out of the oven.  
  3. A sip of lemonade (real lemonade) on the first warm day of summer.  
  4. Watching a dinner guest take their first bite of a dish you’ve made.   
  5. Milk swirling into a cup of coffee.  
  6. The smell of onions sautéeing in butter... 
  7. Or the smell of a simmering chicken broth.  
  8. Making one of your grandma’s recipes, using her worn, handwritten index card as a guide even though you know it by heart.  
  9. Pulling apart an almond croissant.  
  10. The nutty scent of butter browning.  
  11. When the buttercream starts to stiffen into peaks.  
  12. Taking the lid off a stew that’s been simmering for hours.  
  13. Sprinkling cinnamon sugar onto warm toast.  
  14. Breaking a perfectly poached egg.   
  15. Homemade pizza dough (and eating said homemade pizza on the living room floor in front of the TV with a glass of red wine, just because).   
  16. When the leftovers taste better than the original dish.  
  17. Flipping a crepe with one hand. 
  18. A sip of fresh mint tea in the morning.   
  19. Cooking with your parents (or children, or any close family member).  
  20. Rolling pasta by hand.  
  21. The citrusy smell when you pull back an orange peel.  
  22. Slicing crispy, crunchy veggies.  
  23. Using a recipe from a physical cookbook.  
  24. Remaking a restaurant dish...and liking your version better.  
  25. Eating family-style.  
  26. When you miraculously time every course perfectly.  
  27. The hum of a tea kettle when it’s just starting to boil.  
  28. When the risotto is ready.  
  29. Naan toasting in the oven.  
  30. Slicing open a ripe avocado.  
  31. A plump soup dumpling nestled in a Chinese soup spoon.  
  32. When you’re missing an ingredient, but the substitution makes it better.  
  33. When the wine you have on hand is an unexpectedly perfect pair for your meal.  
  34. Scraping the seeds out of a fresh vanilla bean pod.  
  35. The final wipe of a kitchen counter when you’re cleaning up after a meal.  
  36. Watching Peaceful Cuisine on YouTube while you cook.  
  37. Coming home after a late night out to realize you have everything you need to make grilled cheese.  
  38. The luxurious cheese pull when you eat said grilled cheese.  
  39. Kneading dough (also known as the stress ball of the home chef).  
  40. Making a deliciously decadent meal for absolutely no reason (think ribeye steak paired with a glass of pinot noir, or seared ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes and sake) 
  41. Making your significant other their favourite meal.  
  42. The sound of crackling ice in a cocktail shaker.  
  43. Cooking breakfast before anyone else is awake.  
  44. The first strawberries of the season.  
  45. Drizzling icing over fresh cinnamon buns.  
  46. Barbecuing (preferably with a refreshing beverage in hand).  
  47. An organized spice drawer.  
  48. Cooking after reading a chapter of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential 
  49. Achieving a just-spicy-enough curry sauce.  
  50. Listening to jazz while you cook.  
  51. Watching comforting sitcoms (such as Friends or Seinfeld) while making comfort food.  
  52. Pouring gravy over mashed potatoes.  
  53. Eschewing the recipe and eyeballing it.  
  54. Lox and bagels (or whatever your favourite breakfast is) on a Saturday morning.  
  55. Making dinner for old friends.  
  56. The first meal you make in a new home.  
  57. Chocolate shell coating hardening over vanilla ice cream.  
  58. Making caramel from scratch.  
  59. Hearing someone you love sing while they cook.  
  60. A homemade vegan meal that tastes anything but.  
  61. Discovering a super-healthy dish that doesn’t feel “healthy.”  
  62. A freshly sharpened knife.  
  63. Serving homemade chicken noodle soup to someone in need.

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