Saturdays are my favorite time in the kitchen. I even make sure I get up extra early, so I can have the kitchen to myself. At about 8:00 each Saturday morning, I slip on my favorite pink slippers and tiptoe into the kitchen to pull one of my favorite starbucks k cup pods from the cabinet and start my Keurig. After scrolling through my phone for a while, more often than not, I usually decide to make breakfast. Usually the sound of the pots and pans banging together and hitting the stove wakes up the house, and I begin hearing little feet coming down the hallway. After shooing off the little ones, I began my Saturday tradition of mixing pancake mix, cracking eggs, and frying some sort of meat (usually sausage). No matter how long it takes for me to cook, or how extravagant the meal, it literally is always gone in minutes.
The kitchens in my family have always been a place filled with love, laughter, and good food. A loving kitchen sets the mood for the entire house. My favorite times of year are the ones that bring us together in my grandmothers’ kitchen. I haven’t mastered the art of cooking in her kitchen yet, but on special occasions, she gives us little odd jobs that usually involve cutting vegetables or flouring homemade biscuits. Cooking in grandma’s kitchen usually includes at least three different conversations going on at once, loud laughter, and the occasional “when is it going to be time for us to eat?” After dinner, the girls usually sit around the table and drink a cup off coffee.
According to a New York Times Article, research has shown that more family meals means less depression, obesity, and behavioral problems in children. Eating at least three meals a week together has shown to have a positive affect on mental and emotional health. The process of cooking has also proven to have a positive effect on mental health. Psychology today reports that culinary therapy is being used to treat conditions such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Cooking at home is also a great way to control your physical health as well. When you prepare meals at home, you are less likely to consume as much sugar and processed foods than you would if you were to eat out.
Whether you want to set the mood in your home, encourage family time, or take better care of you mental and physical health, the kitchen is the place to do it. Sit your family down at least three times a week to have a family meal. You can even invite the kids in the kitchen to help you complete small tasks, this encourages conversation and is the perfect time to ask them about their day. Create family traditions that center around the kitchen that your children can pass down to their children. You can even find time for your own little quiet moments in the kitchen in your favorite pink slippers.