Conscious Cooking With Gratitude

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Conscious Cooking With Gratitude

There was something different about the chocolate chip dot cookies this past week.

My husband does not have much of a sweet tooth. And, in general, the girls are more enamored with candy, and ice cream than homemade treats.

But, this time, my husband ate 5 cookies! More than once he remarked how wonderful they were. Raizel is still gushing, several days later: “these cookies are soooooo good!”

It has made me think: What was different this time? Was there a special secret ingredient?

The answer that I came to was: “Yes. There was a secret ingredient.”

They were baked while making lots of blessings and focusing on everything that we have to be grateful for. The cookies became infused with our positive intentions, which then elevated them from the mundane to the sublime.

Here is what happened:

On Sunday, before we started baking, I asked my girls: “what is the first thing that we need to do before we start?” Both girls answered: “wash your hands!”

Then, after we washed our hands, I asked: “what is the second thing that we need to do?

I got a few blank stares, and so I answered: “make a blessing!”

Although I did not want to sound pedantic, we then had an impromptu lesson on “why do we need to make blessings?”

The girls and I discussed how making a blessing reminds us to be grateful to God. We are allowed to eat, but, when we make a blessing, we are saying “thank you” to Hashem (God) for giving us such delicious food, that makes us happy and keeps our bodies strong.

Then, I told the girls, “We should just list all the things that we have to be grateful for to Hashem.”

 

So, as we were making the cookies, we had what I call a “radical gratitude session.” We shared every single thing that we had to be grateful for: eyes that see, glasses to help us see, the ability to read, a computer to find our recipes, legs that walk, a mouth that talks, ears that hear, mouths that can chew……

The whole time that we were baking the cookies, we were sharing on all the numerous things that we had to be grateful for.

The outcome were the delicious cookies.

Another time, while I was cooking for Shabbat, I kept repeating the phase, “this is in the honor of the holiness of Shabbat.” (L’kavod shabbas kodesh)

That night, as we were enjoying our Shabbat meal, I asked my husband, “how did you like the food?”

My husband, not knowing my intentions while cooking that morning replied, “Everything tastes like the holiness of Shabbat.”


I couldn’t help smiling when he said that. How could he have known what I was saying the whole time I was cooking?

So, our thoughts are very powerful, even to the point that they transform our food from ordinary into other worldly.

May we all be blessed to focus on everything we have to be grateful for and transform everything we do to bring more blessings and good into the world.

Hot Chocolate Lessons 

Last night and this morning, Raizel decided that she wanted to make hot chocolate. 

For many people this sounds like a relatively straightforward activity. 

For Raizel, however, it became an opportunity to rise above some of her challenges. 

The first time Raizel made the hot chocolate all by herself. I think she confused teaspoons for tablespoons so she did not use enough sugar or cocoa. The final product “tasted terrible!” 

The second time, she misread the instructions and microwaved the cocoa and sugar in a paper cup without any milk. The cup burnt.

The third time was a charm. It tasted great and Raizel was very happy!

She would only let me take a picture while she was holding it!

  

Here is the recipe from the Hershey’s Cocoa box:

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons cocoa 

2 tablespoons sugar

A dash of salt

1 cup of milk

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract when cooked 

Instructions 

Mix all ingredients together and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Blend together and drink while warm.

Something so simple was a wonderful opportunity for growth! We had a bonding experience. 

I guess sometimes it’s  the little things in life that matter.

  

Raizel made the chain stitches for the heart.