I have a really love-hate relationship with cooking and spending time in the kitchen in general. And for the past 1.5 years, I would say that relationship was feeling a lot of hate.
I was burned out on trying to be creative in the kitchen after my 2010 cooking challenge. So I cruised through 2011, cooking here or there, but not really making a big deal out of it. Sometimes Matt and I would cook together and that was fun and all, but after the break up, you couldn’t pay me to get back into the kitchen.
It just seemed like so much extra effort to dirty all sorts of pots and pans and dishes to cook for just me.
I didn’t have anyone to impress or please, so I was perfectly happy enjoying summer’s fresh veggies at the salad bar or noshing on a bowl of cereal or a PBJ for dinner.
Quick, easy, fairly delicious and zero time spent on cleaning. Perfect for my single girl life because it meant more time being outside, hanging out with friends, hitting happy hour or whatever it is I would rather do other than clean up after making dinner.
I got into a nice pattern of quick and easy dinners that carried on through last year. Sure, every once in a while I would get a stroke of inspiration and dig out my crock pot or whip up some of my delicious butternut squash soup. But largely, any desire to spend any time in the kitchen seemed boring and way more trouble than it was worth.
I figured there were plenty of ways for me to eat healthy food that didn’t involve slaving in the kitchen. I became the queen of Subway for nights when I was in a rush. No joke the people at the Subway down the street from my house know my order by heart. I had a long standing relationship with the salad bar at the grocery store across the street. Fresh veggies, piled high in one of those plastic containers made for perfect quick and easy dinners.
But at some point in the last month or two, I’ve really started to miss and crave good, home-cooked meals. But my schedule is still as packed as it ever was. For the foreseeable future, I have something on my calendar for every single night after work.
I’m not complaining; I love my busy schedule. It just doesn’t leave me with any time, energy or motivation to whip up fancy kitchen creations during the work week.
So for the last week or two, I’ve been experimenting with a new approach. The “do all my cooking on Sunday so I’m prepped for the week” approach. And I have to say, it’s working really, really well.
I’m excited to cook again since I don’t feel rushed on the weekend, and if I knock all the cooking out in one day, I only have to do massive clean up one day each week. That’s something I can tolerate.
Plus, I am loving coming home and having something healthy and home cooked that I can just pull out of the fridge or the freezer. Dinner is so much more satisfying to eat when it’s something delicious that I’ve made myself.
In the last two weeks, I’ve certainly expanded my cooking horizons.
I made sage pork with apples and onions one week. I whipped up a delicious batch of sweet potato fries (my newest obsession). And this week I made a sweet potato and carrot soup as well as some really delicious chicken fajitas (which pretty much just involved cooking the peppers, onions and chicken so it’s all ready to assemble during the week.)
I can’t say how long I will be on this new found cooking kick, but I’m hoping it lasts for a little while. I’m having fun and maybe if I get really inspired, I’ll even share a recipe or two.