Cooking: The Next Happy Pill?
His response: "For starters, learn how to cook."
The question was asked in the context of the slew of self-help books on the pursuit of happiness -- a state of being guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence no less -- and once there, how to keep the good vibrations going.
So, if we heed Simic's advice and get back into the kitchen, could it be possible to one day throw the Zoloft down the drain? Could some time with the cutting board replace the need for time on the therapist's couch? Would the inexplicable, seemingly unsolvable mysteries of life still carry the same weight after making a pot of soup?
And on a more universal level, here's what I've been chewing on for the past week: Would the world be a happier place if we all spent more time at the stove?
We all know the role of food as fuel -- and the difference a healthy, well-balanced diet can make on our human engines. But what if we actually refined that fuel ourselves? The feeling can be, well, infectious.
To wit, a friend in Denver, Colo., shared the following story in a recent e-mail:
My father-in-law's wife died suddenly this past year in Mexico and he showed up with a Mexican cookbook and very little else in his suitcase (other than mismatched shoes) for two weeks with us. We cooked, drank wine, and cooked some more.
And here's what my kid brother Tim had to say about his recent kitchen foray during last month's cold spell in his hometown of Key West:
I made a big pot of chili yesterday to help produce a bit of warmth, it turned out real well. I think it is one of those foods that is appreciated by all when served hot and with love. Think about it, who doesn't love a big steaming bowl of this tomato based wonder that can contain any number of different ingredients?
Now it's your turn to pass the salt. Toss your thoughts into the mixing bowl (aka "comments" section) below.
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