It has been and continues to be a crazy time for us all. Every week, our world changes with necessary and needed restrictions in place due to COVID – 19.
Huggers, like me, are missing the hugs more than we could ever have imagined. Hugs release Oxytocin which makes us feel warm and fuzzy. The effects of a good squeeze can linger long after the hug: Oxytocin promotes feelings of trust and calm. Trust and calm are everything we are all in need of right now.
As many of you now know, we had to temporarily close the cooking school side of Relish Mama one month ago. So many businesses and people in a very similar situation. Many of them are friends. It’s heartbreaking. To me, this time has felt so much longer than a month. I miss our classes, our guests, our incredible Chefs and the rest of our team very much.
I feel there has been somebody special looking out for us. The fact that the new arm of our business (home-cooked ready-made meals) launched about six weeks before lockdown – WOW! We had been project managing this business for most of last year. Even with all of our planning, nothing could have prepared us. We’re learning quick and adapting. We are putting everything into this new arm, but I can’t lie. It has not been easy. SOOOO MANY lessons we are learning along the way.
We cook with our hearts. We hope you taste that in our dishes but as turns out, it is not easy to scale ‘heart’. We do things a little different here to the bigger kitchens. Along with this, I personally have days where I can’t walk. Somedays we have team members rolling out on foam rollers (we should all be looking after ourselves better and do this too, but instead, we watch wonderful Sall from time to time, give her body the kindness it deserves).
What combats all of this you may ask? Well, that’s a simple one. Cooking for others has always has meant so much.
Cooking, especially when done for others, comes with positive psychological benefits. It gives us that same feeling of being hugged and of giving hugs right now. It really means everything to be cooking for others right now.
I have received incredible feedback over the past month that makes my eyes well up. It has come in the form of emails, phone calls and also through chatting to customers picking up meals (at a socially acceptable distance, of course). Some customers leave us little notes in the comments section of their online orders. They seem to come on the days we need them most. Peoples kindness is everything right now.
One of our dearest Relish Mama Chefs (and ripper friend) is also cooking for people who need it right now. I checked in with her last night to see how she was coping – her & her team. Her response reflects how we are feeling right now too.
“I must say I do love that feeling of bringing some small joy to folk as I deliver. Having a connection with folk on that level makes me feel so privileged and as long as we can get to the other side intact and having been kind is all that I need.”
Sending you so much love. Let’s keep looking out for each other and let’s find others ways to give that ‘I’ve just been cuddled kind of feeling.
We cannot wait to see you and hug you. For now, we hope our meals can help be part of your refuge and where you can feel nourished amidst all that is going on in our wider world.
Love Nellie & team