Far too often we get caught up in the necessity of cooking in order to eat and forget the absolute joy that can be found through the act of cooking. Of course, this isn't limited to stovetop cooking. There are many men and women around the world who find baking to be an extremely pleasurable pastime in addition to traditional stovetop cooking or even barbecuing on a grill. The main distinction occurs in how you perceive your cooking projects.
How Do Your View Cooking?
While this question is asked somewhat rhetorically, it is a question you should ask yourself and answer. Do you view cooking as a chore or duty, or do you view it as a project? There is something much more exciting about embarking on a new project than getting around to a loathsome chore. If you do view cooking as a chore the more important question might be why?
Some common reasons that people dislike cooking include the following: lack of skill, lack of confidence, boredom, or you could simply dislike the inevitable clean up far more than you enjoy the process of cooking. For each of these, there are solutions if you are willing to make the effort.
A lack of skill when it comes to cooking can be easily corrected in most cases by taking a few cooking classes. Classes are offered for varying degrees of skill sets and are meant to help you develop your cooking talents while teaching you the basics of meal planning and preparation. You can increase your skills by taking more classes down the road.
While a lack of confidence is a little more difficult to address having a few 'dinner parties' in which your quests can complement your culinary talents can often solve this dilemma. The key in this process is to plan your menu carefully and remain well within your comfort zone. You will be amazed at the wonderfully rich and delicious meals that can be prepared with very little effort if you are willing to sift through the recipe books in order to find them.
Boredom in the kitchen is perhaps one of the easiest problems to fix. The solution is exceedingly simple, find a challenge. Try cooking Thai or Indian cuisine. Try more difficult recipes. Try making only meals from scratch or simply try broadening your use of spices and seasonings. Perhaps you can find an old family recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation, spend a day making it yours. There are many things you can do in order to bring some excitement back into your kitchen. You may even discover hidden talents and tastes in the process.
There will always be clean up. My suggestion is to make a deal with either your partner or your children and they can draw straws over who cleans up. Of course, if this won't work in your family, you could always turn over a new leaf and clean as you go whenever possible. This makes the cleanup process after dinner so much simpler to handle that it is well worth a few extra minutes during meal prep.
Cooking for pleasure is really the only way to cook. If you have difficulties when it comes to finding the enjoyment and entertainment value of cooking, perhaps it's time you bring some fun back into your kitchen. If you're barbecuing, put on some Jimmy Buffet and dance around your kitchen. If you're cooking Italian find some nice Italian music to set the mood. Bring the fun back into your kitchen and you will find that cooking is a pleasure rather than a chore.