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  • Writer's pictureJosie Coco

Cooking for comfort and joy

Day 189/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.

Food is one of my greatest pleasures. In over 30 countries in my travels, my main objective was to experience the cuisine of that culture.

From suckling pigs cooked in an umu on the beach in Tonga, tender cuts from the hangi in Rotorua, dumplings in Hungary, gnocci and arancino in Scicily, divine tempura in Tokyo, pizza to die for in Naples, tapas in Valencia, the list seems endless.

Somewhere along the way I realised that my greatest fear when my funds were low, was that I wouldn't have enough to eat. I wonder if there is in fact, a connection between our feelings of safety and security and our supply of comforting food.

It kind of makes sense that our ancestors would concern themselves with food, especially since most recently they have experienced the Great Depression and periods of famine. Afterall, it is our ancestors who seem to be the source of most of our unexplained anxieties.

I've never had to worry about my weight. That's not because I didn't ever put on weight, I did. I would swing between 20 kg lighter or heavier depending on my state of mind. I realised this was my body's way of supporting me so I guess I was lucky enough not to ever let it worry me too much.

In these times I willingly and lavishly turn to comfort food. It's winter here in the Southern Hemisphere and with the anxiety in the air of the dreaded virus, what better way to spend my hours at home than conjuring up the next meal of delightful flavours of comfort and contentment.

On my list of go-to favourites are organic oats soaked overnight with filtered water and a spoon of buttermilk, and cooked into a thick porridge to be lavished with rapadura and cream for breakfast.

Steaming hot Curry Laksa made from laksa paste crafted from ginger and galangal roots harvested from my garden.

And as I'm visiting my parents this weekend, it will be sticky lamb shanks slow cooked to perfection with potatoes that have soaked up the delicious cooking juices.

Just for good measure, I'm also planning a feast of fish and chips on the beach.

Food is surely one of life's enduring pleasures. I'm sure that's why I can watch cooking shows ad infinitum.


Simple Abundance

366 days Towards Self-Mastery

When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)

I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.

As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.

My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?

I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.

Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.


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