The Sassy Chef and the Zen of Cooking

March 31, 2008 at 2:52 am 4 comments

As I become the Sassy Chef, I’ve been reflecting on my views on cooking and being a cook over the years. I had basically decided that I was not a cook in any way, shape or form. I determined that I wasn’t good at it, that I didn’t like it, that it wasn’t worth my time and energy.

Obviously, those self concepts are changing drastically. I’ve realized that, not only do I have a modicum (maybe more!) of culinary talent, but cooking can also be a wonderful creative outlet. It’s really quite exciting! J

I’ve been masterminding my own recipes on occasion and modifying others’, and I’m also starting to “design” my kitchen. I was so out of touch with my supplies that, after making my Sugar & Spice Slow-Cooker Applesauce, I purchased another peeler, not realizing I already had one in the drawer. I’ve bought a chopping knife, and I’ve had my BF buy us a 6-quart slow cooker. I’m creating the Sassy Kitchen!

Kristen’s of Kristen’s Raw is doing her own version of that, and she shares details in Get Your Raw Zen Kitchen On.  She lists seven principles to cook by:

  1. Do things deliberately.
  2. Don’t multi-task.
  3. Do each task completely before moving on, and each step of the recipe, in the same way.
  4. Do less in the kitchen (and in life).
  5. Rituals Are Special.
  6. Timing can be everything.
  7. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation.

What great principles! I’m focused on the first two: doing things deliberately and not multi-tasking. Twice I’ve gotten so enthusiastic about making my Fresh Tomato and French Onion Whole-Wheat Pizza that I’ve rushed through it, ending up with a disappointing result. Why? I haven’t given it my full and deliberate attention. I’ve been in a hurry, slapping ingredients together and taking care of other household tasks at the same time.

When I made the applesauce, I did nothing else. I reminded myself that I had all the time in the world to peel and core the apples, to periodically stir the mixture in the slow cooker. I didn’t hurry it; I didn’t try to handle other chores at the same time. It came out great! It was delicious, and I thoroughly enjoyed eating it throughout the week.

I’m already practicing what I’m preaching to myself. I’ve been dying to make the applesauce again for my BF. I have the apples and other ingredients on hand, but I don’t have time until next week. I’ve been tempted to try to fit it in, but I’ve resisted the urge. The process is something to be savored, so I’m looking forward to working on it next week when I can make it an event.

It’ll be worth it when I can sit back and bask in the glow of my BF’s “oohs and ahs”, knowing I created something special by giving it the attention it deserves.


Entry filed under: clean eating, food review, recipes, tips & techniques. Tags: , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sally Parrott Ashbrook  |  April 1, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    I like those principles—sometimes we have to hurry, I think, but when we can stop and get zen about it, all the better. 😀

  • 2. hiphostess  |  April 2, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Your post reminds me of something I read recently – a woman told her grandfather she found short-cuts for making family recipes. The grandfather asked what was she going to do with the time she saved. She listed off other chores. The granfather commented on how she was just making time for other things that she didn’t enjoy as much as cooking. I thought it was an interesting point. I also aim for “zen” cooking, but after a fully day of work it can be hard. Sounds like you are getting it. 🙂

  • 3. Ginger Fithian  |  April 20, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Dear Sassy sexyshapely,
    These recipes are wonderful!!!!! I love the photographs. You have done an awsome job onyour site!!!! I am really proud of you.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I look forward to trying our adapation of your recipes. Unfortunately, we do not have a Trader Joes nearby. However, we will figure it out.

    Love you, Mum, the Grocerystoremaven

  • 4. Dave Fithian  |  April 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Dear Sexy Sassy Shapely,

    I think your sight is incredable! The pictures and recipes look very appetizing and colorful. Thanks for the pictures. I think you certainly live up to your blog name! You are beatiful inside and out.
    You have a great heart for people with over weight problems. Keep up your inspirational blog!

    Love ya,


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