Hew's story

Jon Kabat-Zinn, the professor who’s famous for bringing mindfulness into the mainstream, once said the best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This was especially true during my ShareThyme experience where I paid lots of attention and experienced some truly unforgettable moments.

Hew and Monju cooking

I learned how to cook some incredibly delicious Bangladeshi dishes and also learned about someone else’s interesting culture and life experiences. It seemed like Monju, my host, liked having me around too. I was hoping that was still the case after I left a trail of destruction in her kitchen...

Luckily, she imparted some of her culinary wizardry on an extremely amateur home cook.

I loved the intensive flavours we created together and came away determined to replicate her dishes at home.

At around 6 pm I arrived at Monju’s Bethnal Green flat, armed with all the ingredients listed on the ShareThyme page. A quick stop at a local Indian supermarket beforehand was all I needed.

After some introductions and mint tea, we got down to cooking our spicy feast which included dhal chochory, khinchuri and raita. In addition to the recipes, I picked up a few cooking tips along the way, like a new, easier way to chop onions; replacing turmeric powder for fresh, and always being overly generous with the garlic to ramp up the flavours.

chopping onions

After about 45 minutes, I laid the table, poured some more tea and started the serious business of eating some of the best curry I’ve ever had. It was mind-blowingly good. The obligatory food photos were taken and shared with lots of jealous friends for weeks afterwards.

Monju was a fantastic host who told me all about her life, family and passions. I loved hearing about her work with children. How, as a clinical psychologist, she’d written various books and even put on plays to help with the children’s development.

cooked spinach

The time flew by and before I realised, it was 10:30 pm and time to finish the washing up, then head home with acres of food Monju insisted I take back with me.

What struck me about the experience was how it gave you an opportunity to deeply connect with someone. In this case, the technology wasn’t getting in the way. ShareThyme was simply an enabler that allowed me to find and connect with a remarkable woman in a mindful way. It’s certainly an experience I got the maximum from, and one I’ll never forget.

I’ll be back to cook with Monju soon. In the meantime, I’ve already booked another cooking session through ShareThyme.

Photo of Hew

- Hew