What To Do When Cooking Becomes Mundane
When I first moved out of my home, I LOVED cooking. It was so fun to have total control in the kitchen- to choose a menu, try new things, and enjoy them with others. However, now that I have 4 little ones and a to-do list that never ends, sometimes being in the kitchen feels like a mundane chore!
Luckily, I’ve had a great reminder that I really do love cooking- I just needed a little help in the form of my 11 year old sister :)
This all started in December, when I drew my sister’s name for Christmas (I have 9 siblings so we each draw a name to make it a little less expensive ;) ). I had the hardest time trying to decide what I could give her that she would be excited about. She is getting too old for most toys, but still too young to enjoy makeup and accessories. It suddenly clicked that she is at the perfect age to start doing a lot more in the kitchen, and I could give her something both fun and functional.
I found a darling cookbook that is geared towards kids- filled with easier recipes, lots of pictures, and tons of tidbits of information that is super helpful for a first-time chef ;). My sister is also really into wolves, so I thought it would be so fun to pair the cookbook with a homemade apron made with wolf-covered fabric.
She LOVED the gift. I was nervous that maybe it would seem too grown-up for her, but she has used the cookbook/apron at least once a week since Christmas, and my mom tells me that she asks to make stuff all the time- I love hearing that!
My sister spent the night at my home a few days ago and she brought along her cookbook and apron :). I asked her if she wanted to paint nails or play games- but she wanted to cook! I let her choose a few recipes from her cookbook that she was interested in, and we planned out our menu for the 24 hours she would be at my house :).
We made roasted vegetables, lemonade from scratch, baked sweet potatoes, and homemade pancakes; I’ll be honest- I spent way more time in the kitchen in that 24 hours than I probably have in the past week ;). But I really enjoyed it! It was so fun mentoring my sister as she learned how to cut an onion, test to see if the pancakes were finished, tried her first baked sweet potato. Sometimes being in the kitchen seems like a chore- but watching everything through her eyes and seeing her enthusiasm for trying such basic recipes was a great reminder that I really do love cooking and being in the kitchen! And I’ll be honest- it made me feel super skilled even though I still have much to learn myself ;).
If being in the kitchen has seemed mundane for you lately- invite a younger friend over, whether it’s a grandchild, niece/nephew, neighbor kid, etc. Invite them to bring a favorite recipe they want to learn to make and teach them how to do it! This will help spark your own enthusiasm; but even better, you’ll inspire a child to learn a new hobby, to want to learn to make good, home-cooked food- which is something many young people are seriously lacking these days!
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