You know, I love to cook.
I understand completely that it’s not everyone’s thing, and that many people view it as a chore, but I find it soothing and relaxing. I think that sometimes (not always), I like to cook more than I like to eat. I often find the process of preparing food – sitting at a table folding dumplings, or piping meringues, or shaping bread – more enjoyable than consuming the finished dish.
Sometimes, life gets big, and tiring, and complicated. When that happens, I find solace in a little comfort cooking. It helps me to focus my attention on the minutiae, and allows me to create, to feed, and to nurture. I find it incredibly satisfying on a soul-deep level.
Last week, I tried making char siu. It was very good, but the flavour wasn’t quite right (so I won’t be posting a recipe yet)…
Later that day, I needed a late lunch. I took a container of treasured Burrawong Gaian chicken stock and a handful of homemade wontons out of the freezer. The stock was defrosted in a small pan, while the wontons were boiled for ten minutes in a separate saucepan of water. Once cooked, the dumplings were added to the stock along with the sliced char siu, and lunch was ready.
As I sat down to my bowl of soup – made with stock that I’d meticulously saved months ago, dumplings which I’d folded the previous weekend, and pork that I’d made that morning – I felt instantly restored. With the exception of the chilli sauce, everything in the bowl was the product of my efforts. It was satisfying in a way that restaurant dishes never quite seem to achieve.
My bowl of homemade soup was small, soothing and comforting. It reminded me that, even though it can occasionally get big, tiring and complicated, life is always good!