Dare to be a kitchen goddess
Actually, Heleen’s exact reply was: ‘Get out of here, I HATE cooking.’ Which didn’t surprise me. She’s a hugely succesful writer, a cunning controversialist and a fiercely loyal friend. But Suzy Homemaker, she ain’t. When I used to visit her in Portugal, I would have to do all the shopping and cooking myself; her fridge was always empty. No problem, but I just I didn’t want her to miss out on the sheer joy and countless benefits of cooking. So I kept nagging her. “It’s a lot like sex, Heleen. Really.” She would just roll her eyes.
Then one day, I received a picture of a huge bowl of figs, four bags of sugar and several jam jars. Oh. My. God. Heleen had started making fig jam. ‘It works! You were right!’ she texted. And that was that. Granted, she will never be a cliché happy housewife, (the title of her first bestseller ‘The happy housewife’ had a highly sarcastic undertone) but her fridge is always stocked these days. More importantly, she cooks every now and then and it makes her feel more grounded. Though she did warn me: “Just don’t get too excited and expect me to take up knitting now!”
Still need some convincing? Here are my top 4 reasons for becoming a bonafide Kitchen Goddess:
-Cooking is empowering: You feel what your body and soul need at that moment, and you make it for yourself, using your own hands. And when you eat it, you know exactly what is in each bite. Just wait and see, that feeling of self-sufficiency will also affect the rest of your life!
-Cooking is sensual: We are so much ‘in our heads’ all day, and one of the best ways to connect with our bodies is to get down and dirty in the kitchen. Cutting meat, washing veggies, kneading dough, licking your fingers; all this gets you in touch with your tactile creativity.
-Cooking is healthy: From the moment you visualize the dish in your head, your salivary glands get to work, producing the correct enzymes. Then, during the cooking process, smelling and tasting will prepare your body even further for the food it is about to digest.
-Cooking is meditative: If you do it with a certain awareness –as Michael Pollan likes to say: “When chopping onions, just chop onions.”- it is the perfect way to empty your poor overworked brain.
Heleen van Royen (1965) Heleen van Royen is a bestselling Dutch author, famous for her provocative way of writing.
She sold 1.7 million copies of her novels worldwide. Heleen’s bestselling debut novel “The Happy Housewife” was
published in eleven countries and made into a successful film, starring Carice van Houten. In 2007, Heleen and Marlies wrote ‘Stout’, a book about flirting, success, power, lingerie and eroticism.
Michael Pollan (1955) is an American author and activist who writes with rigor, passion and perspective about food, agriculture and the environment. Two bestsellers to check out: ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’, and ‘In Defense of Food’.
REFLECTIONS FROM YOUR MIRROR
FOR THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD
Between king and QUEEN
Who is Tasya van Ree? The mysterious girl in the big black hat has been fascinating art connoisseurs and fashion lovers alike since she burst onto the scene with her stunning black-and-white photographs of celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez and (one-time lover) Amber Heard. I asked the Hawaiian-born visual artist of Dutch-Japanese ancestry (41) about her art and soul. “Between both King and Queen is where I exist.”
Sara Mearns (31) is New York City Ballet’s boldest ballerina. A passionate, intense dancer, she started dancing at 3 and starred in Swan Lake when she was only 19. But instead of resting on her laurels, Sara has kept challenging herself with daring projects, from a collaboration with hip-hop dancers to a leading role in a Broadway show. I talked with the fierce Swan Queen about sacrifices, body confidence, and how to turn pain into gain. “I’m not the typical skinny, tall, long-neck kind of ballerina.”
The art of love!
Get your creative juices flowing
This Valentine’s, don’t wait around for that love-note or those fancy chocolates to feel loved and desired. Express yourself to fall in love with yourself, now!