This spring, I blogged about how I hated cooking. I talked about how I hated spending my evenings in the kitchen instead of doing things I wanted to do.
But, over the last several months, I’ve started to grow fonder of cooking (especially since we returned from our honeymoon). I’m not sure what happened – maybe that post forced me to look for the good in cooking. And there is definitely plenty of good in cooking – it’s healthier and it’s cheaper and, as I’m finding, it can be fun and enjoyable if you let it.
Here are some things I’ve been doing to make cooking more enjoyable:
1. Get more night-time tasks done during the day.
For me, this is blog and freelance work (even though I’m writing this blog post in the evening). Today, I finished about 90% of a freelance post over lunch, so I don’t have to worry as much about that tonight. Other things include running errands or making calls – both of which I do over lunch quite a bit.
2. Have at least one glass of wine while cooking.
This makes cooking much more enjoyable. 😉 That’s my crappy apartment oven (I can’t wait to have a nice oven in our new house) and one of our stemless wine glasses that we received as a wedding present (LOVE!). And that stemless wine glass is filled with Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s. Thank you for coming to KC, Trader Joe’s.
3. Make things that you want to make.
I don’t want to make linguini in clam sauce or whatever The Pioneer Woman made for Marlboro Man for their first at-home dinner (totally reading that book right now). I want to make simple, healthy dishes. So, I do. Making things you want to make does make cooking much more enjoyable.
4. Have your husband clean after you cook (or clean as you go).
My husband is gracious enough to clean up if I cook. It’s a good system, but I still try to clean as much as I can as I go. It’s a huge help after dinner and really doesn’t take much time. It makes post-feasting clean-up less dreadful.
5. Appreciate the physical movement – especially if you’re a desk-dweller.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because sitting at a desk all day kinda freaks me out. The habits I listed in this link do help if you sit at your desk all day, but being active after work is important, too. And since I’ve been working out in the morning, my after work activity is mostly cooking and cleaning up.
6. Make it a group affair.
Sometimes, instead of splitting duties between cooking (me) and cleaning (him), we’ll do everything together. It’s totally like a date and so cute and romantic. 🙂 Plus, G is a good cook – but he didn’t get that way by just cleaning the dishes. He became a good cook by participating in the action.
7. Turn on music.
Make it a party! This probably makes cooking most enjoyable for me (well, music and wine, anyway). I love, love, love music so I just set up my iPod on my dock and I’m all set. It really doesn’t make it feel like a Friday night dance party. Well, a Friday night dance party with grilled chicken and asparagus….
8. Act like you like it.
Maybe I just finished reading The Happiness Project, but the author is so right on when she says to “act the way you want to feel”. If you dread cooking and complain to yourself every minute of chopping, cleaning, and sautéing, then you WILL hate cooking. Act like you like cooking and be careful to take note of the times that you’re actually enjoying yourself and, before you know it, you might actually start to enjoy cooking. 🙂
Do you like to cook? What are you best tips to enjoy cooking?