You don’t have to be the most exceptional cook in your friend group or a pro chef to enjoy cooking. It can seem a bit intimidating at first ; maneuvering around the stove, timing things in the oven, learning how to use those kitchen gadgets and making a meal from what may look like random ingredients. That’s what it was like for me years ago, when life was so fast-paced I couldn’t fathom how to ‘find time’ to learn how to cook better – more fluently.
If cooking is new for you; be patient with yourself, ok? Now’s as good a time as any to get better acquainted with your kitchen. Even if that starts off as blending smoothies, sprucing up a bowl of oats and making light soups. Step by step and you might just enjoy the cooking process.
5 Reasons To Enjoy Cooking At Home (More)
Not only is cooking @ home economical (especially if you know where to get decent produce at the best prices), but it’s smart considering the times we’re in, to keep and store as many food items indoors instead of being dependent on always having to go out for every meal. And there’s no mask-business when you’re in your kitchen. You can actually inhale oxygen.
In 2020 when ‘lockdowns’ and ‘curfews‘ started having a domino-effect around the map, supermarkets, stores and community shops went bald with supplies and closed their doors unexpectedly. It may not always be a financial optional that’s immediately available to you, but where and when possible, please try to add an item or a few each day/week; some to use and some to set aside. If you can include gardening into the picture, that would be even better. Your garden can be your main superstore. If you’re a fan of tinned or dry food (like beans or nuts and grains) – stock up whenever you can still.
- thanksgiving – the fact that we have ingredients to make a meal is something to be thankful for. It could be a pack of Ramen and a few okras or enough to make a 3-course meal; it’s still provision. Being thankful immediately influences our frame of mind for the better and we’re more likely to consciously cook with love. I’m not a fan of eating food prepared by someone who’s stressed out, myself included. So even if I go to the kitchen in a sleepy or not-so-enthusiastic mood, I’m quickly reminded that that can affect how the food turns out; it’s a brisk nudge to check my thoughts and remember to give thanks for what I have. Why waste precious time making a meal that’s probably not gonna turn out too good because it’s being made ‘in a mood.’ Better to apply yourself and appreciate both the task at hand and the end result. It’s not always easy but if you try, at the very least if the meal doesn’t come out the best, your mood will be a lot brighter than before. Cooking at home might be a responsibility, but it can also be seen as a privilege. Not everyone trusts just anyone to make a meal for them.
- the preparation process – whether it’s sweeping the floors, cleaning the counter and around the sink, rinsing pots, pans, and cutlery or washing veggies, fruits and produce well before slicing and dicing, there’s a lot of related activities that go into maintaining the kitchen you cook in. Not that we’re always up to the sometimes-tedious tasks of dusting, cleaning, washing and organizing, but I’ve never regretted setting aside time to tend to any of those things – you?
- Ambience – what’s your kitchen like? Cosy? Spacious? Colourful? Minimalistic? Does it have a jar or vase with fresh flowers somewhere in it? Have a devotional, sermon or sweet music playing in the background, your voice singing your favourite verse or can you hear the birdsongs? Next time you go in your kitchen, have a look around as if you were visiting it for the first time. A fresh coat of paint, upgrading light bulbs (that reminds me), a counter top and cupboard clean/re-organization session, a shelf paper refreshing and that same vase of flowers or a few plants can uplift your kitchen’s ambience and enhance your cooking experience.
- The dance – it’s like a dance that can change tempo as you’re moving around the kitchen (or outdoor cooking area), checking pots, stretching for things stored in the cupboard, doing a few squats to pick up those potato peels that sometimes find their way to the floor, monitoring dishes in the oven, stacking and setting out plates and cutting all that veg.
- Creativity – all those aromas, flavours, textures, shapes, colours, spices – cooking is a creative journey that ends up as a (hopefully) tasty nourishing meal made by you right at home.
Enjoy aromas, have fun with flavours, re-organize your spices and try making new dishes.
Oh, and another reason to enjoy cooking at home. If you grow fresh herbs, veggies, fruits and provisions, you also get to use what you grow.
We can still support food businesses in the area and enjoy meals made elsewhere, but please don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy your own cooking journey right at home. Just a few blinks ago, going outside the house to take a walk was a luxury. Making your home as cosy as possible doesn’t have to exclude the kitchen. Cooking doesn’t have to be fancy or involve a truckload of ingredients and spices; maybe simple meals suit your palette just fine – just don’t let the kitchen intimidate you.
You might be pleasantly surprised that there’s a happy home cook in you too.
Get more vegetarian recipe ideas here