Dread the thought of being in the kitchen and putting together a (half-decent) meal? Here are five ways to make the daily task something you actually look forward to.
If hanging up the apron (or avoiding it all together) is your sense of relief in the kitchen, you’re not alone. A lot of us dread the mess, and sometimes disasters, that occur when rushing to put together a meal.
Whether you’re a relentless family cook or you’re a first-timer scarred by a bad experience, we’ve come up with five ways you can actually enjoy cooking.
Cook with a partner or friend
If cooking isn’t for you, try getting someone else involved. Whether it’s your grandmother teaching you how to bake, your partner trying out for the first time too, or an experienced friend sharing their skills, company in the kitchen can be fun!
Time will go by more quickly; you’ll bond with your co-cook and create exciting memories – even if your dish is a disaster! There will be either something delicious to eat or something horrendous to laugh about by the end of the day 😉
Set the mood
Most of us make the mistake of cooking in a manic environment. Having people (or kids) wander in and out of the kitchen, and trying to complete a million jobs at once will quite obviously make you despise the task of cooking.
Cooking can be relaxing if you set up the environment. Start off in a clean kitchen, making sure that the sink isn’t overflowing with dishes. Light some candles and crank up your favourite tunes.
One of the most stressful things about cooking is the mess and things getting out of control because you’ve got too much going on at once. It’s important to take the time to prep all your ingredients, especially if you’re a beginner.
It’ll be easier to follow a recipe and ‘toss your carrots into the wok’ if your carrots have already been peeled and cut into matchsticks prior to turning the stove on. Prepping will also save you from realising you’ve run out of an ingredient. We all hate that moment.
Don’t cook your favourite dish
This might sound like an odd one, but if you eat Pad Thai twice a week, the chances of you recreating the dish exactly how you’re used to it is quite slim. If your expectations are high and it the delivery isn’t, you’ll be let down and regret your choice to cook.
Instead, try to stick to a cuisine that’s flexible and involves less of a strenuous recipe. Try pizza with toppings you like, sushi with raw ingredients that you simply need to chop up, or a hearty salad that you can toss together. You’d be impressed with what you can pull together in five steps or less!
Cook for yourself, not guests
If you truly want to enjoy cooking, don’t start out by organising a dinner party. The rush is pure stress. Keeping your guests waiting, checking that the dessert is setting in the fridge while your entrée is burning on the stove… it’s a recipe for disaster (pun intended!).
Do yourself a favour and take your time cooking for one – that’s you! Keep it a recreational activity by going out to the grocery store, seeing what you’re craving or would like to experiment with. Be your own food critic 😉