The Art of Churching

I love to cook. I’m not terribly great at it, but I love the whole process, even more than consuming the end result. Over the years, a term has been invented in my household that describes one of my culinarily incorrect food preparation methods: churching.

If you’ve grown up with the concept of attending religious service, you probably owned some formal clothing for the purpose, often known as your “Sunday best”. A simple change of clothes transforms the everyday into something nicer and makes for a different experience and perspective.

In my oddly wired mind, this is the best way to describe my insistence on adding extra ingredients or otherwise fixing up a dish beyond the normal standards.

A tuna fish sandwich gets a dash of mustard seed and shredded lettuce.

A bowl of tomato soup is sprinkled with shredded cheese plus a dollop of sour cream.

A slice of French bread is slathered with fresh garlic, a tomato slice, and topped with parmesan, before being broiled for 30 seconds.

This isn’t necessarily unique, I hope there are many out there who appreciate the exponential result of a few little extras. However, in my home there is a stark divide between my need to “church” meals up and my spouse’s focus on quickly preparing and consuming a meal in order to resolve a caloric deficit.

Therefore, the term churching was born, providing a way for him to tease me about the sesame seeds on top of teriyaki chicken and a way for me to encourage him when he adds a little zest to meat and potatoes.

Churching up simple meals is a beautiful thing. It’s an inexpensive way to make basic staples last longer and remain interesting. It requires thoughtfulness, bringing you into the moment.

It’s about adding a simple but highly impactful component to the mix (which is why our refrigerator door is always packed with relishes, sauces, and marinades). That little caper that pops with flavor takes the entire otherwise repetitive or bland meal to a different level.

The same is true in life.

I’ve taken my share of luxurious vacations, sipping on the pina colada with the little umbrella whilst sitting on a beach. These are rare treats.

But the real art lies in churching up your everyday mundane life so that each days bursts with a bit of excitement and fulfillment.

The porch gets a couple comfortable chairs and a hummingbird feeder.

The window in front of your desk gets an active, blooming plant.

The regular shower soap is swapped with a scrubby version in your favorite scent.

Heck, take it to the max and stick an interesting book on the back of the toilet. This is about making the mundane a bit more of an experience, right?

The bottomline: Churching creates opportunities to appreciate the present moment, breaking up the usual. If you can master the art of churching up your life, you’ll never “need” a vacation again.

What seemingly small enhancements have elevated your day-to-day?

  1. I’m stealing all your churching tips.

    My little one is adding a lemon slice into my ice water and a lime to my vodka tonic. 🙂

  2. Love the concept and the name! I’m afraid “churching” at my house mean using the stove instead of the microwave.

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