Before I begin cooking, I do all the sanitation things - make sure the trash can has a new liner in it, the dishes are washed, the counter and stove scrubbed, and my hands scrubbed as well. And then, it's time to get down to business.
If I am working on a recipe for this blog or one of my book project dealies, I like to think about the energies that are present in the ingredients, and how they will come together. If I am making a magical recipe such as my Prosperity Shortbread, I will take the time to infuse each ingredient with my intent.
In order to do this, I simply touch the ingredients. I run my (clean) hands through sesame seeds. I will hold a potato in my hands, close to my heart. I stir symbols into the batter or stew as I cook as well, but before that, I like to focus on the purpose of the meal.
I like to take my time and relax. I don't chop things quickly. I don't want to hurt myself, for sure, but more than that, I want to be calm and focused. I don't want to be sloppy, especially if it's a recipe I am making for the first time. If I am feeling angry, I will take time to breathe and release the anger. I release my negative feelings before I begin cooking because I do not want them to contaminate the food. (Yes, I'm a big fan of Como Agua Para Chocolate.)
That's it: relax, slow down, focus on the energy and intent, and focus on the actual task of cooking so you don't cut or burn yourself.
How about you?