Over the past year I have been spending more and more time in the kitchen. I never considered myself to be a good cook growing up. I did start young, though....... At the age of ten, I was a specialist at making breakfast. I would get up on Sunday morning, and make either pancakes or french toast; usually with my sous-chef, and sister, Susan. We would give our parents a break, and make breakfast for them, and our younger sister, Sharon. We did this for years........and, in the days before we had a dishwasher, we even washed the dishes!
My early culinary beginnings led to more dishes added to my repertoire by the time I was in my 20s, but Susan became the real chef at that point. She got married, had children, and had more reasons to cook, and develop her expertise. Her desserts are still to die for! I, on the other hand had gone to university, and was still cooking for one. The opportunity to expand my palate and menu was just not there. I'm sure many of you remember the days where peanut butter and crackers was the highlight of your day at the end of term at university!
Anyways....fast forward to my cancer survivor's life. So many things change once you're on "this" side. One of them is being conscious of what you put in your mouth. Cooking just became a natural part of my transformation. It's also a huge stress reliever.
So I have found myself in the kitchen, by choice, more and more often on the weekend. The number of cookbooks I own has grown ten fold, and I am learning to make a variety of cultural dishes. More importantly, I am eating healthy. My dishes range from a variety of curries, to dishes using rice and legumes, as well as fish and lots of veggies.
Many medical studies have recently pointed to the need to maintain a healthy weight. As a breast cancer survivor, I know all too well the importance of keeping off the pounds, so that I lower my chances of recurrence. Exercise and meditation come into play as well. By keeping the stress levels down, you keep the unwanted weight off and increase your chances of survival.
It's never too late to learn and enjoy new things. Cooking is just one of the pleasures I have recently experienced. The bonus is for the rest of my family and friends to enjoy......and I sometimes even think to myself, with a huge smile on my face, you've come a long way.......from peanut butter and crackers......baby!