Good Morning: Beef stew for the soul

Michael Hutchins
Michael Hutchins

Some times it takes returning to the things that bring you joy and happiness after time away for you to realize how important they are. For me, that was rediscovering a joy of cooking.

I've written in the past that my kitchen is the happy spot in my home. Since moving out, I've taught myself to cook, and weekly meal prep on Sundays has become my moment of Zen where I can release the tensions and stresses of the world into a delicious meal.

However, I've slowly been moving away from that inadvertently in recent weeks and months. The months of March and February were difficult to say the least and I'd gotten into habits that kept me away from the kitchen. I ordered in more often than I like, and easy-to-prepare meals don't require the same effort or bring the same feeling of accomplishment that come with cooking.

Yet there I was Sunday, cooking a big meal in my kitchen. I am not fully sure what led me to cook this week. As I was shopping over the weekend, I found myself picking out many of the ingredients for a beef stew I regularly make.

At that point, I just went along with it.

The thing with my beef stew is that there are many steps to making it just right. Chopping the ingredients takes time. Getting the seasoning just right takes time. The cooking itself takes hours.

I started work on my differ before I had even had lunch and even then ultimately took a late lunch. As I did my prep work I found myself returning to the flow of the kitchen. I tried new ways of preparing the ingredients. In a few cases, I experimented with the all too familiar recipe to see if I could give it a new flavor.

I had returned to my happy place again. After nearly six hours of work, I found myself sitting down with a delicious bowl of stew that I hadn't made in years.

Sometimes it is easy to get stuck and trapped by the pressures of the day, but it is important to make time for the things that bring joy into one's life.

This article originally appeared on Herald Democrat: Good Morning: Beef stew for the soul