I cooked! Seriously, that’s a big deal. Enough that I wanted to write a whole post about it.
Before the New Year, I purchased a Meal-Planning cookbook. This is supposed to help you save time and thought during the week, by spending an hour on the weekend preparing up to 10 meals that you throw in the freezer and cook during the week.
I probably should have done this before we moved.
In our old house, my husband would commute to work three times per week, and by the time he got home, he was too tired to cook. Often times we had pasta or pizza or whatever we ordered.
If you don’t already know, I have huge anxiety in the kitchen. I need to know what I’m cooking for dinner shortly after I wake up in the morning, and if I can’t figure it out, then we order.
I only know one-pot meals, so there is a really low expectation of me. My husband knew this when he married me, and over the years, he’s grown far more tolerant.
Anyway, it would have been very handy to have this meal-planning book back then. I would have saved myself many anxious mornings, and a lot of money on takeout!
On With the New
Now my husband is home full time and is able to cook and plan all the meals. But I want to contribute to the household too. I want to try new things in the kitchen, and new things on the table.
So over the holidays, I bought a couple cookbooks, a Kitchenaid Mixer (side note, I’m in love with this machine), and a number of gadgets (including three, yes three, vegetable choppers).
My loving spouse likes to roll his eyes and tell me that all you really need is a knife for chopping and a spoon for mixing, so clearly I’ve wasted money on things we don’t need that take up space.
I know this. At the same time, I really wanted a mixer for like ever now, and it was on sale and a good deal, and and and… well it’s mine now.
Having these kitchen tools makes me excited to try out new things – which is not a feeling I normally have.
- New things cause me anxiety.
- Making mistakes causes me anxiety.
- The potential of failure causes me huge anxiety.
Bottom line is: I don’t like to try new things.
But now I have a mixer.
Getting back to this weekend… I tried six new recipes, five were from two different cookbooks and one I made up myself.
Of the six recipes, five required mixing, so I sure did use my brand new mixer. Yes, I could have used a spoon or whisk, but I had the mixer and that’s why I bought it.
Of those five mixed recipes, four are currently sitting in the freezer in zipped bags. I made enough of each to divide into two bags, so that’s my eight future family meals.
I don’t know if we’ll like them or not, but I don’t really care.
Planning to Overcome Fear
The point of the exercise was to meal plan, and I considered that my first project of the year.
I’m putting that in the ‘craft project’ bucket because I had to follow instructions to make something from other things. It’s a form of art, nonetheless.
After spending about five hours in the kitchen on Saturday alone, I no longer feel afraid to go in there.
On Sunday morning, I read a little of my newest book, The Joyous Cookbook, and happened to find a breakfast recipe where I knew I had all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry.
Just like that, I decided to make breakfast.
I had no idea how it would taste. Once again, I didn’t care. The point was that I could do it.
I could chop, mix, and sauté like the best of them. I did not use my mixer, and I completely forgot about all those chopping tools that would have come in handy for sure… but the knife worked just fine.
Don’t tell my husband I said that.
Breakfast was a success, too, by the way. It was far too spicy for my plain taste buds, but I ate it anyway.
It was nice to eat something I made from scratch with all natural products. It smelled a lot like tacos, but it was vegetarian and not from a box or jar.
Even my hubby said it was spicy, but he likes spice so this was a compliment. It turns out cumin, paprika, and cayenne are all hot-spices. Who knew?
Anyway, I’m sharing all this with you because it excites me. I tried something new without fear of failure. I tried lots of new recipes and not once did I feel anxious.
That’s a big deal. I overcame my fear of the kitchen.
So I cooked. Big deal. Maybe it’s not a big deal to many people. Maybe it’s a part of life.
But for me, this is huge. And I’m going to celebrate my win!
I’m going to celebrate by eating ice cream… that I made. From scratch. Because I can do that now.
Note: the product links in this post are affiliate ones, which means I get a nickel or something if you buy from them. 🙂