Thursday, February 6, 2014

How to Make Yourself Think You Like to Cook

When I finally caught up with one of my oldest and dearest friends  
after being apart for what seemed a million lifetimes, we compared things we like to do as moms.

"Do you like to cook?" she asked.  
Her eyes were sparkling - she loves to cook.

I started to say yes.  Of course I like to cook.


It took a moment to register the shock.
No, actually ... I don't like to cook!  
Can you taste it, I wonder, if the cook doesn't like to cook?
It isn't that I hate cooking.
I just don't enjoy cooking.  

After I came to terms with it, I found it rather helpful to know that I don't enjoy cooking.
It dispensed with the "I'm supposed to enjoy this, why don't I enjoy this?!" confusion.  
And best of all, knowing I didn't enjoy my time in the kitchen 
spurred me to explore what would make cooking a more pleasant experience for myself.  

Do you tolerate - as opposed to enjoy - cooking, like me?  
Let me share with you a few ways to make it more fun.


 It was a recipe for stress when I had no clue what I was going to make for dinner.  
I make a meal plan for the entire week, so I know what I'm cooking every single day.  
I also coordinate my grocery list with the menu for the week, 
so I'm certain to have everything I need - another stress buster.  
You can see my post about how I set up my shopping list and weekly menu }here{.


If the kitchen isn't clean, do that first.  
Clear the counters, load or empty the dishwasher, wash the pots and pans.  
You'll feel so much better starting off with a clean kitchen.  
My mom told me once that she tried to have a clean kitchen 
by the time she had dinner on the table.  
My favorite memories of mom in the kitchen are during the holidays 
when she was in up to her elbows making Christmas candy and a gloriously creative chaos ... 
but for the most part, she set a great example and was a tidy cook.  
If you have to spend time in the kitchen, 
you may as well give yourself the gift of order and keep it reasonably clean.  
If you're like me, you'll find it makes you much happier!

Turn it Up

A sophisticated cook would probably listen to high brow classical music,
but if I'm in the kitchen, Pandora is most likely tuned to the Disco Inferno station ... 
I'm conditioning my children to love disco music using the Pavlovian effect.
I think it's working! 
An added benefit would be the impromptu dance parties - 
it's not humanly possible to walk through the kitchen
when the Bee Gees are singing You Should be Dancing.  
For a time, I tried to listen to books on tape while cooking, 
but it made me cranky if people tried to talk to me.  
Music works much better - it's interactive!

Treat Yourself

Pour yourself something yummy in a pretty glass and enjoy it.  
Ice water with cranberries?  Tea with lemon?  Cafe au lait?  Yes please!  
Sometimes my friend Brandy comes to help me cook.  
She ALWAYS makes cooking a lot more fun.

Enjoy Some Eye Candy

If it's cold enough, I have a fire going in the fireplace while I cook.  
It makes me feel all cozy and Suzy Homemaker.  
(Click }here{ for a great how-to on making firestarters from the wax out of your wax burner)  
Most of the time I also have my laptop on the counter, 
so I can watch my favorite screen savers come and go.  
It gives me happy things to think about while I'm pulling the meal together.

Schedule your Time

I chose the paint color for our walls because I wanted them to glow.  
When the sun goes down, the family room and kitchen are bathed in golden sunlight 
and it's pure magic.  Happily, sunset coincides with the need for a meal, have you noticed?  
I try to be in the kitchen at this time of day so I can enjoy the glow.  
It also motivates me get in there in time to actually have dinner ready before it's dark.  

So there you are ... nothing particularly revolutionary.
To be honest, I'm still working on it,
and sometimes I'm like a kid who doesn't want to do her homework.
But I've found that just a little staging goes a long way to making me think that I like cooking.  
Maybe someday it will like me back :o)

I'm linking to these fabulous parties, come join the fun!

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

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