- I began to make out (and use) a MENU. At first, we just rotated through several of our favorite meals. I didn’t try anything new. I was just trying to get dinner on the table for my hardworking husband.
- As I started looking at more cookbooks and magazines (I was really into Taste of Home during those years), I was overwhelmed with all the meal choices that lay before me. So, I started SCHEDULING THE MENU, meaning I assigned certain types of meals to different days of the week. For example, Monday-soup, Tuesday-chicken, Wednesday-meatless, Thursday-beef, Friday-pizza night, Saturday-fish, Sunday-meatless. Through the seasons and the years, the schedule changes, but my method has remained the same. Although I was trying new recipes, I still didn’t love cooking.
- A few years ago, I discovered how much fun it is to cut veggies when you are using SHARP KNIVES! Go figure, right? We were at my parents, and during that visit, I purchased the same brand that my mom had in her kitchen. After several months, the knives became dull and the thrill of slicing veggies was wearing off. But, voila!, one day while shopping at our local whole foods store, I found a knife sharpener made specifically for this brand of knife. Woohoo~I’m a happy chef again!
- And while it has its drawbacks, the MEDIA has been a huge source of learning for me. Between Food Network (boohoo! we are canceling in two months!) and some great blogs I have found, I am learning about different types of food and cooking techniques. And when one understands what they are doing, I believe they tend to enjoy it more. Now, making dinner is also my hobby. I love putting on music and cooking my little heart out!
- The last thing which contributes to my love of cooking is the ability to be SPONTANEOUS. As I am expanding our food horizons and keeping more ingredients on hand, I am discovering how much fun it is to come across a recipe and then discover that I have everything in the house I need to make it. For example, I never used to cook with onions or red wine, but now that I keep these things on hand, when I come across a yummy recipe like this, I can make it right then and there…and that, to me, is fun!
It has taken several years, and lots of trial and error, but I can now officially say, “I love to cook!” (and I’m pretty sure my husband is REALLY, REALLY happy about that!) Next week, I’ll share my favorite bulk foods to keep on hand!