The Flow of Tortellini

I was given a pasta machine as a gift from my mother a while ago but somehow never got round to using it. Until now!

Last night we were child free (I know!) and decided that we would be brave and chose tortellini as our first foray into the pasta making world. We settled on a stuffing of chestnut and sage with caramelised red onion with a bit of parmesan cheese to bind and also thought if we were going to go to these lengths the least we should do was to make a fresh tomato sauce rather than one made with tinned variety. We made the filling and sauce first so that we could then concentrate fully on the pasta making!

It was great fun. We carefully followed the instructions and rolled and folded and floured and eventually had a super thin sheet of pasta almost the length of our kitchen bench!
To add to the mood we listened to Puccini and drank martini rosso on ice.

Making the tortellini themselves was fiddly and our first 2 attempts were a bit untidy! But by the time we’d made the full amount we were making very professional looking morsels.
The sauce was then reheated, plates found and warmed, candles lit and a bottle of Italian red opened and the tortellini were carefully plopped into simmering water for just 3 delicate minutes. Drained, sat proudly on top on the sauce and served.

We then sat down to eat. Delicious.

But that’s not the main point of this post.

We entered the kitchen at 6.15pm and sat down to eat at 9pm. For almost 3 hours we were totally absorbed in this task. We didn’t look at the clock, get bored, flick to another task, complain about how long it was taking or anything. I was so engrossed I did not take a single photo! (apologies, I ‘borrowed’ this image from the internet, my bad). We just worked together, learning how to do something new, imagining different fillings, deciding what we could do better next time. We didn’t notice time passing and were amazed when we finally did glance at the clock as we sat down to eat, that such a large amount of time had passed – we could have watched the Godfather in that amount of time (almost!)
We were fully in the FLOW of Tortellini, totally absorbed.

this, according to the scientists is the real state of happiness and flow is where you are when you are fully in the present, absorbed in something that you are enjoying, finding challenging, creative, relaxing.

But most of us only experience flow irregulary, I certainly realised this about myself last night after coming out of the flow of tortellini I thought; “blimey! When was I last that lost in something?”

I’d love to hear more about people’s experiences of flow, how does it happen for you? What are you doing? When did it last happen? and I suppose, how can we make this amazing state happen for us more often?

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