Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Wellness Wednesday: In the Kitchen
One of the biggest struggles for me as I changed over from almost never cooking to being expected to cook all the time was figuring out how to organize. I knew how to cook, I wasn't afraid to experiment but I was spending too much time figuring out what I was going to make and when. And when I finally figured out what I wanted I didn't have the ingredients. Pair this frustration with a very strong dislike of being stuck in the kitchen for any amount of time and no wonder I hated cooking! It was a tortuous adjustment with many bumps along the road. We are still working it out a little but I can tell you three things that really helped:
1. A good, seasonally arranged cookbook. A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends was it for me. This was the first cookbook that I had ever seen that I wanted to make more than three recipes out of. Having the dishes organized by season made sure I wasn't searching for asparagus in November. Some of the recipes I follow to the letter (very strange for me) but most of them I use the basic idea and adapt it. We all really love the tastes that come from this book.
2. Delegating out the parts I absolutely hate. I hate doing the dishes. I hate getting my hands wet. I am not sure if this is left over from being a shampoo girl at a salon and having my hands in and out of water till they cracked but whatever it is- it is strong. It has probably been the source of the most fussing in my marriage. When John said I needed to start cooking dinner if I was going to be home all the time the only way I could possibly manage it was to have him wash all the dishes. Luckily, he agrees it is a fair trade. (Most of the time.)
3. A plan. I wanted a single sheet of paper where I could write down dinner for the week and have my shopping list. This was so important in shifting me from feeling overwhelmed to confident. I found it hard to find something pre-made that fit me just right so I asked John to make one up for us according to my specifications. As a special gift to you all I have put it up so that you too can use this simple and wonderful little tool. I hope it will help you feel more confident too! (Please let us know if you use it and like it! It was so great of John to take the time to draw each little place mat. Talk about above and beyond!)
What makes your life easier in the kitchen?