I had once watched a documentary called “How to Cook your Life”. The person being documented — Edward Espé Brown, a Zen cook and writer — had mentioned that “the food will taste better when the cook is joyful.”
And I strongly agree to that.
Brown had also talked about concentration — an important ingredient for cooking, according to him.
At one time the camera follows him while he preps the rice before cooking. He is seen diligently washing the rice, almost grain by grain.
But I am the type of cook whose mind wanders [a lot] during cooking. The blazing burner reminds me of bonfires; the hot oven of a sauna; the variegated spices of the spring colors of Holi; and the list continues.
Today, for instance, while I was grinding poppy seeds, the star ingredient for the chicken dish I was preparing, my mind began to wander.
As I watched the blender grind the poppy seeds, the picture of a pristine sandy beach flashed across my mind. I could almost feel my feet pressing against the wet sand.
The thought of it made me [the cook] joyful and I was all set to prepare Chicken Posto.
Note: Posto is Bengali for poppy seeds.