COOKING IN LANGLEY: Turning cooking into happy experience, rather than chore

Chef suggests using time in the kitchen as a chance to catch up, listen to tunes, or share a drink.

by Chef Dez

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say that cooking is a chore, I would be a rich man.

The act of cooking a meal is just that: “cooking a meal.”

It is not negative, or even positive for that matter, it is just something we do.

We all need food to stay alive, and since our homes are all equipped with kitchens, we cook.

Maybe some of us more than others, but we all still cook.

Some kitchens will have their owner’s unharnessed culinary passions bestowed upon them on a daily basis, while the only glory days in other kitchens may be derived from someone adding onions and garlic to a saucepan of store bought pasta sauce… but it is all still cooking.

I hate to even imagine that there is a percentage of our population that rely on daily practices of consuming products like TV dinners, frozen pizzas, and spray can pancake batter. Yes, I did say “spray can pancake batter.”

Talking with employees of a large grocery chain, they tell me that they are constantly bombarded with requests from consumers for fast already prepared meals that they just heat and serve.

Is there really a growing number of people in our society who have succumbed to relying on premade meals from a package or container.

Have we lost so much time in our ever-growing busy lifestyles that we cannot commit to practising creativity in the one life-nourishing art form that our homes have always been designed around?

Who made cooking negative anyway?

We did. We did as human beings.

Take for example the simple tasks of washing a vehicle, mowing the lawn, or our daily commute to work.

Are these tasks of complete negativity that all of us are destined to suffer through for the rest of our lives?

No, some of us thrive in these situations. What makes these tasks at hand, along with cooking, a chore then?

One of the things that we do, that no other life form does, is analyze and label.

Everything we do, other than breathe or blink, we analyze and label.

We create good and bad, positive and negative, with our natural human psyche without even realizing it for the most part.

Cooking, again, is just cooking.

If it is positive for one and also negative at the same time for another, it is because each of those individuals have made it so.

It is because of their opinion or perception that makes the act of doing something a joyous occasion or a nagging daily occurrence.

Don’t get me wrong; people are entitled to their opinions, and if there are people out there that are happy with cooking being a chore, then so be it.

What I don’t want is people believing that they don’t have a choice of it being a chore. Of course, you have a choice.

You just need to find the way to create a positive frame of mind regarding the task at hand.

So, with cooking in our home we introduce music and a favourite beverage to the environment and also use this as an enjoyable opportunity to catch up with each other and take pleasure in the family being together in one room.

Everyone is unique, however, and what seems to be a simple change of focus to creative optimistic endeavours with one person, may need to be completely different for someone else.

What makes you happy? What can you bring into the kitchen environment (mentally or physically) in order to make a more optimistic approach to this life essential assignment?

Whatever it takes for you to have a more positive approach, the truth is that you will typically save money and eat healthier overall for doing so… and hopefully enjoy yourself, your family, and your kitchen more.

Happy cooking…

.

– Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4

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