I Like to Cook Now

Yesterday was the first time that I thought to myself while I was cooking, "this is fun!".

I was making pizza, same as I have many times before. But this time, instead of it just being an obligation I had to feed my family, I was enjoying the process.

As soon as I had that thought, I knew it was a turning point in my life. All these years, I have not really enjoyed cooking. I enjoyed EATING, and cooking was the necessary evil I had to put up with to get to the eating part.

I wondered what had changed to create this sudden shift in my attitude, and I quickly knew exactly what had happened.

I finally have enough cooking skills and experience that the pleasure of eating the cooked food exceeds the amount effort I have to expend to create it.

I've been cooking for myself for over twenty years now, but I've only been doing seriously for about ten years. I started actually cooking meals after I got married, and there was a year in there that I went on housewife strike and stopped cooking for about a year, but other than that I've been in charge of our food.

It's helped that in the past several years I've found cookbooks that are to my taste. And the cooking shows have been useful to demystify some skills, and help me to discern what recipes will be difficult and time-consuming versus deceptively quick and easy. There's nothing to kill your motivation like poor planning-- like thinking a recipe will take 30 minutes, and an hour and a half later you are starving and mad that things are taking so long and your family is growling and grumping around because dinner is so late. But that sort of thing doesn't happen to me much if at all anymore.

Now I plan ahead for some meals (I put lamb loin chops in the refrigerator yesterday to defrost so they'd be ready for me today), and when I've been running errands or otherwise can't plan ahead, I have enough in my pantry that I can whip up something at a moment's notice.

I still fire up the old microwave and eat frozen foods from time-to-time, but now I'd rather be cooking. There have been hints that I was starting to like cooking starting about a year ago (when Cate pointed out that I probably wouldn't bother making my own ice cream cones if I didn't enjoy it on some level), but yesterday I determined it was official, and general. Desserts, entrees, meats, vegetables, whatever it is, now I like to cook it.