Writing and Recipe by Abigail Kaufman // @ifyouhungryy

Part of Issue 3: Back to Basics

There’s something so soothing, so misleading, verging on therapeutic, about the path to mastering a skill in the kitchen. It's like, as soon as you nail your technique your brain goes into this blank, ’auto-pilot’ mode. And god knows we could all use a taste of that kind of serenity! Now, just as much as ever.

But do you know what I mean?

When you tackle an uncomfortable, discouraging task like getting the seeds out of a pomegranate, or cracking and shelling nuts, or even cleaning sardine- have you ever cleaned sardines? Somewhere between doing it for the 7th time and still nearly gutting yourself rather than the fish, to doing it for what seems like the 376th time, you find yourself (surprisingly) getting the hang of it. You start getting comfortable. Your hand glides into position like a well oiled machine. “Moving your gammon” as James likes to call it. You become addicted to the motion... like going on a nice long walk and getting your legs moving, or taking a long shower and enjoying the constant stream on your skin, only this time your hands are doing the job.

That's comfort! Is that what’s meant by the comfort of home cooking? Of comfort-food? It’s about the process from preparation to consumption. I think that’s what makes you fall in love with somet