After being stuck in the house for just a week, I thought I was going to go crazy. The thing about me is, I hate being stuck in one place and I hate mood swings and worse of all, I hate my will power being taken away from me. So I manned up and decided to change my situation. I made the decision to learn something new every day and get my hands and mind busy – cooking was one of the things that I indulged in during this lockdown.
As I found, “Learning changes the physical structure of the brain. These structural changes alter the functional organization of the brain; in other words, learning organizes and reorganizes the brain.” Pls read more here 👉🏽 Here As we learn, nature kind of creates both “hardware” and “software” simultaneously (Read more) and in so doing, the more we learn, the easier it becomes to learn new tasks. If we are not learning at all, we find our brain in some kind of redundancy which makes the task of learning even harder. So for me, learning new things and acquiring new skills is very important because it stimulates the desire in me to learn more. And when I learn more, my confidence grows and then I feel better about myself. That is what cooking has done for me during this covid 19 lockdown.
I do enjoy cooking but I got bored eating the same regular foods every time and thought that by creating new dishes, it would create excitement and bring fun to meal times, which it did because my kids would go, “mum, what are we eating today?”
So, my routine was to learn new dishes and also to find ways that I could be creative with regular dishes that we already eat. So that gets me off my feet to start planning, which I do a day ahead. By doing this, it keeps me excited and expectant about the new day ahead of me. It also makes cooking interesting because the kids and I are learning new things plus it presents a teachable moment for my kids because then I can take advantage of the opportunity to teach them about the culture from which the recipe originated from. When conversations flow, automatically, we are having a good time. Also, by tweaking some of the recipes, I am able to test my creativity and improve on my skill as a cook.
Here are some of the meals that I have cooked:
This is my version of chicken curry with basmati rice and steamed carrots, which I was just making for the very first time. My family does not like curry but I wanted them to be a little adventurous so I altered the recipe a bit. I used pure coconut oil which I used in stir-frying the chicken and curry to give off the coconut vibe. My family hates coconut milk or anything cream in foods so I had to mix the chicken broth with a little corn starch as thickener which I poured into the curry. And it was a success because everyone enjoyed their meals.
I grill quite a lot now so we had grilled potato jackets with grilled ribs served with carrot purée sauce and mixed vegetables. This was another winner.
Why am I sharing this post? Because I want to encourage everyone who is on isolation or quarantine not to give up – rather, learn a new skill; pick up a new healthy hobby and you will be amazed at what it does to your mind!