You are likely wondering what the heck I am talking about. If you have seen Mozart in the Jungle, this statement will make sense to you. If you haven’t seen it, you really should check it out asap! One of my favorite actors, Gael Garcia Bernal plays Rodrigo de Souza, a very eccentric, wild and passionate conductor of the NY Symphony Orchestra. In one of the first scenes of the show, he is looking for a new oboist for the symphony and while being bored by the many oboists who audition behind a screen, he finally stops everything to find the one oboist who impressed him. He tracks her down because as he tells her (in his sexy, latin accent), “you play with the blood”. He says this line throughout the show when he hears someone who plays with passion, with fervor, with feeling.
What does this have to do with cooking? So much! How many people, women especially, have come to me because they are so uninspired and burnt out in the kitchen? They are so over it. They are so done. They are fried. They are crispy. They are toast. They are overcooked! They have cooked for their families for years and are done. Or someone that is on a healing journey and has to make all of their own food to heal and feels so tired of cooking. I get it. I so totally get it as I have cooked for a living professionally for literally 20 years. I have been burnt out many times. I have cooked so much that I have felt revulsion at the sight, smell and thought of food. But…something has always brought me back to cook another day and I think it is because I cook with the blood….most of the time.
The mistake many people make when approaching cooking is they cook from their head. They listen to yet another health podcast about parasites or why you should clean out your closet or something else less than inspiring and then wonder why they have lost their juice for making something delicious. Women especially, my advice to you is to get out of your heads! Get into your body, get into your heart and your senses and dance! Dance while cooking and create something delicious. Put your heart and soul into it. And what’s the key to that?
Whether I cook for myself or for others, I am almost always playing music that moves me, that causes me to shake my hips or to feel moved in some way. I’m feeling passion and joy and zest for life and that energy flows through me and into my food. If I really need to feel some passion, you know I am getting down to funk and old soul or if I am cooking for someone that just had a baby, I play very gentle music like Deva Primal or Enya. If I am cooking for someone that is depressed or really could use a big dose of joy in their life, I play reggae.
How do you cook with the blood especially when you are a burnt out cook?
Recommit to cooking as your sadhana which means your daily spiritual practice. Instead of approaching dinner time with drudgery, remember the beautiful opportunity you have to nourish yourself and your family with joy and love through the food you present. Another beautiful way to approach cooking is to say a prayer or set an intention before you cook. Light a candle and put on some music that you want to set the tone for your meal. Focus on infusing your cooking with joy and fun and happiness as well as mindfulness. Create a sacred kitchen space that you keep clean and organized and are excited to spend time in. My kitchen is far from big enough to be my ideal kitchen, but I have surrounded it with color and objects from my travels which brings me inspiration. Use equipment that you love. For example, I LOVE my knives. I have about 4 awesome knives that I rotate using and it makes slicing and dicing so much more enjoyable. I also love putting on my apron and pulling out my favorite cast iron or French carbon steel pan. All of these things along with the amazing ingredients I use from my garden or farmers market are what bring me joy and excitement to cook even though I have made many of the same dishes for over 20 years.
There is so much more I could say on the subject but for now, I hope this post has inspired you to bring a little bit more passion back to the kitchen….and to cook with the blood!
Do you cook with the blood? If so, please tell us how. Share in the conversation and leave a message here.
Much love and inspiration,