While growing up I had a full time working mom and all of my early memories related to cooking is of my mom hurrying about the kitchen to get either lunch or dinner going. But Sundays were a different matter altogther...mother would be more relaxed...there would be some favorite television shows going on & there would be a delish aroma coming from the kitchen! It's not that my mother could not cook. But on weekdays she was on a time constraint...cook, clean, eat, leave home by 10 in the morning...get back at 6 in the evening, have tea, cook dinner & bed time around 11 pm. There is nothing novel about this. About three fourths of the women and men around the world must be having some such routine. So the question is how can it be fun when it's something just to be dealt with? Everyone has to get chores done....atleast no one can procastinate on that for long! Of course now we have people who cook for the entire week and or get take outs or frozen dinner almost every week nights. Nothing wrong with this too...as long as you like what you eat and your families stay healthy. After all one does not live to eat...we only eat so that we stay healthy!
Here are some time tested tips for making cooking fun & not a chore:
Start off with a clean work area...the kitchen is the heart of your home & if it is cluttered and unclean, you will not feel like cooking. Make a habit of cleaning up after you cook, load the dishwasher and wipe the counter tops clean. Declutter your working area and keep your spice rack & shelves organised.
Listen to your favorite music while cooking...be it on your iPod, radio or CD player..have a blast & see how the mood sets you...I sometimes even ask my daughter to practice the piano when I am cooking...it is therapeutic & so much fun.
Do you feel like people don't appreciate your cooking? Stop cooking to please others & cook what you enjoy the most! I have tried this with my youngsters & sometimes people don't realize what they truly like until the food is in front of them.
Don't hesitate to take help in cleaning up. When I was younger I could do chopping, cutting, cleaning, cooking, all at one go...but as the years go by one realizes that you don't have the same energy you had as an adolescent, teen or even youth. This is a good time if you already haven't set a routine to involve the entire family in lending a hand. If you are the main person doing the cooking, let others pitch in to do either the prep work or the cleaning.
Know what you have in the pantry and refrigerator. Often we go grocery shopping when we are tired and hungry and sometimes end up buying things we don't really need. This often stays at the back of the pantry or refrigerator and sometimes certain perishables end up in the trash! We would contribute towards this kind of waste if only a little planning is done as to what is available & how it can be used.
I do hope that these few tips would help in making cooking for you not just a chore but fun.