If you tell me you don’t have time to cook, you’re a liar. I’m not huckleberrying with you.
I was harshed for ‘having too much time on my hands’ for creating my own pesto from someone who suggested it was easier to trade cash for a can. They missed the point. A point that is missed all too often by all of us, including me. But pesto reminds me to be present.
We all have enough time; especially to take care of ourselves. But for some reason, we’ve dirtied our brains with delusions of finite time. Our days progress and our binding schedules consume our hours to a point where we become a victim of the day. Suddenly, it’s dinner time; another time we’re tied to. And for some, the easiest way to buy more time. In minutes jars and boxes can release their contents with little effort, but then we just overlooked the most important opportunity of the day; an opportunity to use our hands.
For once, I’m not talking about nutrients. I’m talking about the act of cooking and the practice of being present.
Meet my friend cortical homunculus.
He’s grotesquely disconfigured, and so are you. He is a model that proportionately illustrates how much of your brain is devoted to specific body parts. Homunculus has huge hands because a human’s hands are richly innervated and require a lot of brain to function.
Why is this important? The act of cooking is hand work. Cooking offers our hands a way to express themselves and therefore, provide deep brain stimulation and fulfillment. Homunculus proves humans are handy and designed to use digits. If we don’t, we dismiss human nature and bore our brain cells. Overtime, this dullness can lead to darkness.
Cooking is a hand-to-brain dance that awakens the mind to here and now. Manual labor is meditative. It’s an all-senses-in artwork that trains the brain to be calm and mindful. And to think this all rooted from an afternoon of blowing off biochemistry to blend basil with garlic; something I didn’t think I had time for. Homemade pesto takes minutes and it’s worth everyone of them.
Happy Heart Farm Kale-Basil Pesto
* try with raw kale and omit parmesan for your first batch (my preference) and modify if needed.
Make time, people. Or the world will take it away from you.
~ Ideas inspired by a conversation with Dennis Stenson of Happy Heart Farm. The happiest man on Earth.