The last weekend in October Dave and I went to Norwich, Vermont to attend a pasta making class at King Arthur Flour’s baking school. In the three-hour class we learned the fine art of making fresh pasta—weighing the flour, incorporating the eggs, kneading the dough, and cutting it into common shapes.
We invited friends to join us—Dave’s college roommate and his wife. The fun started before class when we got together to enjoy a beer and glass of wine while catching up on what’s happening in our lives. The laughter carried on as we worked to form the perfect shaped fettuccine, ravioli and tortellini, followed with a pasta meal after class.
Even though two weeks have passed since our class, positive emotion lingers as we reflect on our time together and the shared practice of pasta making. Actually, this isn’t surprising considering this experience has all the ingredients for creating a psychological state called savoring.
According to Fred Bryant and Joseph Veroff, authors of Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience, people have “capacities to attend to, appreciate and enhance positive experiences in their lives.” Strategies that boost this capacity include sharing an experience with others, having pictures or a memento to remember the event, celebrating the event, engaging all our senses in the experience, and being completely absorbed in the activity. As I said, all these “ingredients” were present in our pasta-making weekend.
If we wanted pasta for dinner, we could have saved $170 by going to the grocery store and paying $1.00 for a pound of fettuccine. We could have avoided driving three hours from Saratoga to Norwich, and back. But if we had done this, I wouldn’t be writing about the experience. It would not have contributed to an ongoing sense of happiness and positive emotion.
Now that we’re “expert” pasta makers, our plan is to host pasta-making parties with friends. And in doing so, we’ll create more opportunities for positive experiences.
Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved. Patrice Jenkins.