Recipes that give pure Joy

I scroll the internet daily for research, and often it is for food.

As a gourmand, I am interested in cultural articles as well as recipes and restaurant news, but of course it is far too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of doom and gloom that fills much of the ether these days.

I admit that prepping a newly discovered recipe or trying out a new bread scoring pattern with the help of an online video are both positive experiences.

I don’t get to do these things every day, though. I do seem to discover the doom and gloom everyday. It’s insidious, isn’t it?

Surely, I cannot be the only person feeling the need for a bit of good old-fashioned escape? In hopes that I am not, I decided this week’s column would offer a few fun recipes as alternatives to the usual slide into oblivion that leaves us feeling sad, tired, and depleted – some days even totally defeated, am I right?

Some may say this is pulling the wool over our eyes, to ignore the real world. My eyes need a break now and then, and the world is plenty real, so how about a bit of suspended reality?

To start, I am going with the oldest recipe I know – one of my mom’s childhood mantras. “There isn’t much a cookie can’t cure” (said of course as she handed you one).

My latest addition to the favourites in my list is a gingerbread cookie that hides its healthiness under the guise of an unctuous texture and exciting spices. No guilt here, just happy indulgence.

Next, another old standby, using recipe as a broad term here — watch a good movie with a big bowl of popcorn. (If you are more of a licorice, M&M’s or SourPatch person, that’s cool too — no judgment.)

One caveat: the movie for this purpose must be something upbeat, ideally with an ending that has at least a glimmer of hope. I like classics for these moments; an animated Disney film never fails to amuse.

I am partial to Ratatouille, of course, and Finding Nemo, but there are many delightful choices.

Another great option is to read a book, or a magazine. The audible option is also something to consider if you like to knit or stitch as you listen. Just like with movies, look for something to delight you.

A few of my all-time favourites

  • Tom Hanks’ collection of short stories, Uncommon Type
  • Richard Bach’s The Illusions of a Reluctant Messiah
  • Tom Robbins’ Still Life with Woodpecker.

I’m going back to actual food recipes for this option, and it’s a toss-up between two ideas. Depending on your tendencies, or your schedule perhaps, take time to prepare and enjoy a homemade brunch or dessert.

Brunch works for those who like savoury flavours – buttermilk biscuits or pecan waffles will light up your day for sure.

For dessert I like to go chocolate with a two in one dessert called pudding cake but fruit crisp is a lovely way to rekindle warm thoughts of the summer season. (It can also do double-duty as breakfast the next day – wink wink.)

All these suggestions are my personal successes; I realize that for many others they might not strike the chord you want to reduce stress. This last idea will work for most people though, I believe. It works on the premise that an average person scrolls through over 27 metres of negative news.

Doomscrolling and doomsurfing are new words describing the tendency.

I am proud to say that the country of my ancestors, Iceland, has created a more attractive alternative to doomscrolling. Joyscroll offers the same distance in scrollable images, sounds, and stories that are uplifting, encouraging, sometimes even funny, and beautiful.

As a last note, if you are one of those people who cannot put up with any more enforced positivity and you just want to vent, the same team of creative folks has got you covered.

You can record a cathartic scream and the Icelandic Tourism Board will release it in one of Iceland’s wide-open spaces.

I would hope that if you do find joy in any of these suggestions, you will share that joy with someone else to spread it around. Feel free to share food safely, too. Just maybe not the screams.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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