I don’t enjoy cooking. Yep. I said it. In today’s culture where it seems like the “thing” is to make Keto-Paleo-gourmet-meals-on-a-budget-and-your-kids-will-LOVE-it… it’s not my jam. I cook so we won’t break the bank eating out, have healthy options at home, and basically so we can live.
You’re not alone!
The first time I admitted this truth about myself on IG I received a few messages from other ladies along the lines of “I don’t like cooking either!” and “THANK YOU for saying that! I thought I was the only one!” and “I don’t either… do you have any tips?”
It always intrigues me when we tell each other “I thought I was the only one!” and before I dropped that truth, I felt the same. From my perspective, it felt like all other women in America had mastered this cooking thing and weren’t intimidated by it in the slightest. They knew what all the ingredients were, how they go together, what shouldn’t go with them, how it pairs with sides, how hot/cold it should be, and where to buy it on super sale. Oh, and it tastes delicious. Of course, this isn’t all true, but when you feel “less than” in a skill, it’s easy to look at “everyone” and say “they’ve got this down.”
Don’t get me wrong, I have grown a lot in the past years in my cooking skills. While I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy cooking like some of my friends do, I want to learn and improve. Thank God for Pinterest and I’ve had to Google countless things. “What’s a Shallot?” “Can I use lime juice instead of lemon?” “How do I thicken a sauce?”
Tips & Tricks for my Fellow “I don’t enjoy cooking” Friends…
I’ve also learned a few tips and tricks, so to speak, for how to make cooking more enjoyable for me. If you’re reading this because we are non-cooking bosom buddies, than maybe some of these will help you too!
1. Make your environment as peaceful as possible.
I realize I’m writing to fellow moms and you’re like “seriously? Do you know what that time of day when I make dinner is called?!” Yes, I’m aware…just hear me out.
If cooking is stressful to you, do your best to take the stress away from other areas of life. This is the time of day I let my kids watch shows. Kids in the kitchen, yelling, arguing, running through the house makes me more stressed (shocking, I know). Do yourself a favor and let them watch a show while you fumble your way through getting dinner made. Set out puzzles, coloring books, hands-on toys, turn on a show and head to the kitchen. They have a blast, and you make dinner in (mostly) peace.
Might I even suggest pouring yourself a little beverage while making dinner? If you have something delicious to sip on while cooking, it makes it that much more enjoyable.
2. Meal Plan
- Know what you’re making. Scrambling around at 5:30pm trying to figure out what to make helps no one. There is no one right way to meal plan. There are meal planning services, apps, charts, even meal prep delivery. Play around with what works best for you and your family. For me, I plan out our meals on Sunday with my meal planning service/app, it creates my shopping list, and I head to the store that afternoon or on Monday morning. That’s what’s worked for the past few years, but that doesn’t mean it will always be this way. Leave room for flexibility, but having a general idea of what’s for dinner every night is a game-changer.
- Have certain meals you know your family enjoys that are “no-brainers.” For us that would be tacos. I pretty much always have supplies on hand to make tacos. Perhaps yours is breakfast dinner, or soup, or some kind of pizza. When you have a few “staple” meals and keep those ingredients handy, your meal planning and prep is simplified.
3. Follow Food Bloggers You Enjoy
When you don’t enjoy cooking, it’s easy to feel inadequate in the kitchen. But hear me, friend… you are not. And I am not. Just because my strongest skill is not in the kitchen, does not make me less of a person or a mom. We get in there because we care about our people and desire to give them good food to eat. So while I recognize my cooking skills won’t line up with Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray, I can still find recipes that sound good to me and my family.
I can also learn from people who ARE good in the kitchen! Not all food bloggers are the same. Find some ladies (or gents!) who click with you and follow them. Engage with them on their social media accounts. Pin their recipes. Ask questions and tell them when you’ve tried a recipe. They don’t blog and share recipes just for their own enjoyment. (Well, maybe a little… Writing and blogging is enjoyable!) But they want to help their readers learn!
So get yourself a coffee/tea, sit on Pinterest and IG for awhile, and find some food blogger friends you want to learn from! Use social media what it’s meant for: connection, sharing, and learning.
Cheers to you!
They’re going to ask you today, and tomorrow… and everyday for the next 18 years or so: “What’s for dinner, Mom?”
You may not always enjoy the process and in your head you might think “again?,” but you know it will be worth the trouble. Those times with the family gathered around the table for an evening meal will come and go all too quickly. Even if some together time is your only motivation to make dinner for your crew, I think it’s great one. You’re rocking it mama. Not just in the kitchen, but in the impact you’re making in the hearts of your family. Your kids won’t really remember if you made simple or gourmet meals. What they will remember is time spent together. To me, that’s worth it.
I see you “I don’t like to cook” mama friend. I’m raising my coffee mug, water bottle, wine glass—whatever I’m drinking while you read this ;)—and I’m cheering you on!