Tonight saw a bit of a sauerkraut making frenzy in my kitchen. I bought a load of organic cabbages at the South Fremantle farmers market on the weekend, and they’ve been sitting on the bench begging me to pickle them ever since. I love having big fermenting sessions, but I often feel very rushed. I really wanted to make the most of it tonight.
This morning I read a post from one of my favourite bloggers, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. Essentially it was about practicing mindfulness when you are performing single tasks, rather than just rushing mindlessly from one task to the next in your day. I know that ‘practicing mindfulness’ is a bit of a catch phrase at the moment, but as with so many things, it is probably because most of us are so far removed from the concept. Our lives are about being busy, busy, busy (well mine isn’t any more!) and it just isn’t that great for you.
So I put mindfulness into action tonight as I hand sliced 4 cabbages and then massaged salt into huge pots of the stuff. It was really hard to STAY in a mindful meditative state, but as with all types of meditation I’ve tried, I just had to keep the old monkey mind in check and draw myself back. I knew I wanted to write a post tonight, and so ideas were flying around inside my head. I needed to give myself a focus. A sauerkraut making mantra, so to speak. I kept thinking about what I was doing, and why I was doing it. I really honed in on the sensation of squishing wet cabbage through my fingers, and for a lot of the time I was just purely concentrating on the technical aspects of slicing.
The end result – two jars of sauerkraut and a very chilled out cook. Beautiful.