This New Orleans Girl knows that when the shit hits the fan, it’s time to make a big pot of gumbo.
Ok…I’m writing…so it must be a Wednesday. However, last week on Wednesday, I looked at my husband and said, “I don’t know who needs to hear this right now, but it’s Wednesday.” (He’s not on social media so reads none of the gems going around.) While laughing at my own joke, he looked up at me with a pensive look. Then said, “It’s Thursday, Babe…”
Occasionally I have to look at the calendar to see what day it is. More often than naught, I thinks it’s mid-morning, but when I check the time, it’s actually late afternoon. It’s like we are all stuck in a time warp. At least we’re all in this together.
It’s like we are all stuck in a time warp. At least we’re all in this together.
And I mean that in earnest. Even the folks I know that are still going to work are having trouble with logistics. It seems everyone feels slightly to completely off, depending on the situation.
Me? I’m feeling calm, anxious, organized, lost, irritated, grateful, tired, wired, and cooking. Is cooking something I can feel? Not sure. All I know is that when I cook, I’m not thinking anything but the mighty fine coq au vin in the pot.
Right now, cooking has become my favorite art medium. I am not painting as much as I should, but I am cooking up a storm. Last night my daughter and I made bruschetta for dinner. Grilled bread with a colorful tomato, basil and feta salad poured on top. Yum.
In fact, in the past three weeks, the highlights of my cheffing have been: chicken sausage gumbo, pasta Bolognese, veggie soup, red beans and rice, veggie curry, fresh spring rolls, and bruschetta. Tonight, I’m making coq au vin and tomorrow, more Bolognese as that was a hit with everyone and I’m making a bunch to freeze.
Right now, cooking has become my favorite art medium.
I’ve been beating myself up a bit about cooking over painting, however after thinking about it, it makes sense to me why cooking is comforting right now.
First of all, it is an art form. Part of my college degree was in culinary arts. I turned to that program because the extremely classical fine arts school I attended felt stifling to me. I got so sick of drawing, painting, and sculpting the live nude form, that culinary school felt more creative. Go figure.
Secondly, I’m from New Orleans. A born and raised NOLA girl. I learned early on that drinking and eating were the path to happiness. Well, if you know me, you know that the liquid happiness was a temporary thing, then it had to go. But food, both cooking and eating bring me solace.
Third, there’s not much I can control right now, but I can bake a mean banana bread. I can prep veggies and make peanut sauce to have handy to roll up fresh spring rolls (which is nearly all my kiddo will eat these days). I can make a double batch of a one pot meal, eat it for dinner, and then freeze a good portion of it for later on. I can vow to not let any of the raw food go bad and in turn learn how to make sauerkraut and how to preserve the remainder of the fresh basil from the bruschetta for later use.
I can’t change what’s happening, but I can damn well ensure that we won’t starve.
We all know there is much about food that leans towards comfort. Eating it is one thing, however, knowing that there is enough frozen, canned and dried to feed us for a while creates a feeling of calm for me. I can’t change what’s happening, but I can damn well ensure that we won’t starve.
I have also stocked my baking cabinet. I want to try to make my own bread, skillet cookie, and tapioca pudding. Truth be told, the cooking has been a great thing for us to do all together. I think that it simply feels good to nurture each other during this time.
I have also been enjoying making these coloring pages for you (see above). They are light and fun and seeing the coloring jobs that you have done, like this one, has been so much fun for me. Thanks for sharing that.
I think that right now, we all need to lean into what brings us the most comfort. Even if it takes us out of what we are used to or even “supposed to” be doing in our day to day.
Because it’s no longer just any other day. As my friend Tofu said, “It’s Thuesday the 38th of Maypriltember”. The only thing we “should” be doing right now, are the things that make us feel like we can exhale. So off to the kitchen I go. Bon appetite.
What are you turning to for comfort right now? In the comments below, tell me what is making you feel the most at ease.
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes. To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure.