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Does cooking make you happy?

  • jillp Mar 3, 2007 04:04 PM
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The most excellent Jackp has been out of town for three weeks and will return tomorrow. Since he's the person who began my transformation into a Chowhound, I want to be sure he has some delicious food awaiting him on his arrival.

As I was zipping around the kitchen, browning some short ribs and opening a bottle of wine to add to the vegetable melange for tomorrow's stew, I began to think about how happy I am when I cook, and particularly when I'm cooking with Jackp. Ye gods, I was singing "Our Love Is Here To Stay" while slicing mushrooms.

Admittedly, I am enamoured of Jackp, even after 26+ years of marriage, but I am also very happy when I cook. I would presume other Chowhounds feel the same way, except that recently, while reading "Mindless Eating," I read that many cooks do so out of a sense of competition.

So, Chowhounds - does cooking make you as happy as it makes me? I certainly would not want to do it for a living (ye gods, that would make it a job, not something I do from choice), but cooking for and with someone you love is one of the joys of my life.

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  1. Yes. There is something about the way that a judicious application of knife skills and high heat transforms things that is almost magical to me.

    1. everything about cooking makes me happy, trying new recipes, tweaking old standbys, reading food journals, when we travel the food we taste is a big memory marker, and after a hard day at the office cooking is like meditation for me. but if I cook for a living I think it would change my feelings toward it.

      1. It is my job and I still love it... I avoided cooking professionally for many years because I thought it would spoil the fun, however, the reality is completely opposite! I have so much fun creating new things in my kitchen, at home and at work!

        1 Reply
        1. re: harryharry

          You are an incredibly lucky person!

        2. Cooking makes me very happy. Baking makes me happier.

          Baking bread has been a part of my weekly routine for 30 years. I dabbled for one year as a private party caterer and "breakfast in bed" service operator and every moment of that experience made me happy.

          Nothing brings a bigger smile to my face then watching my 17 year old bake bread from scratch with the bowl my great grandmother gave me.

          2 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            That reminds me of something my sister mentioned not long ago: her son, after taking the required high school domestic science course, came into the kitchen one evening while she was working on dinner. He looked at what she was doing and said, "Oh, you're making a roux." She said that she nearly started crying - her son understood the basics of sauces!

            1. re: jillp

              jillp, what a great story! I can relate.
              It's a big bonus when what makes us happy also makes our kids happy.

          2. Reading the first part of your post, I was thinking that Jackp makes you happy and cooking has nothing to do with it -- just a coincidence because you're cooking for Jackp. Then, I thought, by the time she's 25 or 30 that will wear off too. Then, I slowed a bit because I thought, no one in their 20s knows My Love is Here to Stay, but when I hit the part about "26 years of marriage," my reading skidded to a screaching halt. So, I had to reconsider the question. Yes, I love to cook. I find it very relaxing. Sadly, I'm very bad at it, which my husband gently reminds me of on a regular basis....

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bite Me

              Bite_Me, I had the same reaction to the OP.

              and true love in my house, means eating the food I so happily made . . . with a smile. AND finding something to compliment ;-)

              (fortunately cooking doesn't make me happy every day)

            2. Cooking is such a big part of who I am that I can't imagine what life would be like if I couldn't do it. It may not always make me happy, but it usually does. What does make me happy for sure is that both of my kids love to cook, and phone all the time to discuss recipes. I was talking to a doctor the other day, and he informed me that since their youngest child left home three years ago, he and his wife have eaten dinner out EVERY NIGHT! I felt so sorry for him. How can people live like this?

              10 Replies
              1. re: pikawicca

                1. Because they can afford to.
                2. Because they can try new cuisines and restaurants whenever they want, without any major planning (he's suddenly in the mood for Thai, they don't have time to shop/prepare).
                3. Because they, in their patronage of restaurants, are helping to keep said restaurants in business, and thus ensure the employment of the staff that work there.

                I love to cook too, but with the pressure/hours of my job, I eat out or do take-out a lot, now (yep me too) more so now that my son is away at college. When I cook, it is very simply, I just don't have the energy for anything elaborate.

                1. re: rednails

                  1. Many who could afford to choose not to.
                  2. If you live in a big city, this is undeniably true, but not around here.
                  3. I seriously doubt that this motivates many people to eat out!

                  The wife is not employed outside the home, so presumably lack of energy is not an issue.

                  Who said anything about "elaborate"? Good home cooking can be quite simple and speedy.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    I'm just trying to say that cooking isn't for everyone. They have their reasons not to (even if not as I presumed above), but it works for them, why question it? It's their priviledge. It makes you happy, that's great, and godspeed. I just can't understand the criticism that's directed at other people for their choices, whether it's what they like to eat (or not), or where, or why. I see it so many different posts it just annoys me.

                    1. re: rednails

                      I posted a response earlier but it didn't show up. I don't like to cook. I find it stressful and non-rewarding. Whatever I make tends to be mediocre or I find myself "over it" by the time it reaches the table. My Dad died in 1974 when I was 10 and my Mom (who also hated cooking) closed the kitchen and we ate out every night. My husband and I eat out an average of 4x/week and I wish it was 7.

                      1. re: Janet from Richmond

                        Good for you!!! I know from reading your other posts you're passionate about food, I didn't realize that you don't cook at all.

                        I don't find cooking stressful, but after a full day at work dealing with my client's food issues, sometimes cooking for myself is the last thing I want to do when I get home. When I'm relaxed, in the mood, and have the time, yes, I'll gladly cook. But after years of rushing home and throwing a quick dinner on the table to feed my son and myself, I'm happy to have the break.

                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                          another eater-outer here. we're working our way down from 14 meals a week out to . . . fewer. My husband, it turns out, is a really really good cook. Who knew!

                          It's a very weird transition -- I am finding it hard to eat what I have, if that makes any sense i.e. we have the ingredients for marinara but I feel like thai. But the casserolely/saucy/stewy foods like chilis & soups are so much better homecooked than out that it's starting to really grow on me.

                          how do you feed yourself the other 10 meals a week?

                          1. re: orangewasabi

                            Lots of things are better homemade, particularly if you have access to a good farmers' market. You might try braising some meat next; this is one of the tastiest and easiest of cooking methods. I intentionally make more than we need for dinner, as leftovers are great for lunch. Small roasts are good too, and leftovers make great sandwiches -- just make sure you use good bread. As to ethnic cravings, my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer are full of weird ingredients just waiting to add that certain authentic flavor to a dish. You can make beef soup with a French, German, Mexican, Thai, or Japanese taste if you have the right ingredients on hand. Hope you and your husband have fun experimenting!

                            1. re: pikawicca

                              This is the stuff that is torture to me. I made a pot roast a couple of weeks ago. By the time it's on the table, I am over it. And with just hubby and me, it becomes the never ending pot roast. For the most part I'm not a big fan of leftovers and here we were with this *&^%$ pot roast and I feel guilty if I throw it out even though I don't want it. Last week Dh made a pork roast and now I am facing what to do with that. Last night going out for Vietnamese was much more fun.

                              1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                Janet, last night I made chili . . . AFTER we ate dinner. Then froze 80% of it. For just the reasons you described. I'm starting to lose the guilt about throwing things out and calling it 'cooking practice'.

                                I toooottttallllyy understand the being over it once it hits the table -- I've actually lost a tonne of weight since I started cooking since I can't be bothered to eat something I have stared at / smelled for hours.

                                Do you have any tricks on figuring out cooking portions for two people? I seem to only be able to cook for 14!

                                1. re: orangewasabi

                                  Trick #1 is to not let hubby go to the store <g>. For the two of us he'll buy 4 large thick pork chops (as an example). His big fear is not having enough and mine is having too much. I just threw out some chili from the freezer that must have been there 2 years or so. Like you, I am starting to lose some of the guilt and I also throw out things when hubby isn't around (he'll eat leftovers that are week+ old if they are there...if it's not green and fuzzy he thinks it's still okay).

                2. Cooking totally makes me happy. I have a lot of friends who think I'm crazy for enjoying it so much, they tend to think of cooking as a "chore." I find cooking relaxing (obviously I'm not a professional.) Few things make me happier than preparing food for people I love and making them happy by feeding them.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chigirl71

                    I agree that it makes me happy. I don't understand why people call it a chore though it can be when you don't have an audience to cook for.

                    With respect to having someone to cook for, that makes it all worthwhile.

                  2. When growing my parents enlisted me to an art studio where I stayed from age 8-14. I won many awards for my art work and even contributed to the permanent mural on my high school wall. My natural talent for the paint brush metamorped to a spatula and a set of Henkel knives. I later discover that cooking for me as an adult is a form of therapy and allows me to express my self, similar to what painting and pastels were for me as a child. Today, I could not live without the opportunity to express my love, charisma and aesthetic being nearly every day. I am especially satiated when I can share with family and friends. Dinner anyone? :) KQ

                    1. Yes yes yes....it relaxes and grounds me and provides an outlet for my nurturing spirit!

                      1. Try, "My love keeps lifting me higher, higher" by Jackie Wilson. Cooking is an expression of love--for jackp, the guests, or the clients.

                        1. Totally..I love to putter in the kitchen; trying new recipes, chopping, prepping and yes, even the cleanup doesn't bother me all that much. The sense of satisfaction I get from a home cooked meal makes me feel so good-and of course eating it isn't half bad either! Luckily, my husband loves to eat like I do so it works out well.

                          1. Yeah, when I can cook in the right conditions (not too hurried, not too tired, child not running amok), especially if it's it's interesting, not just fuel - ahhhhhhhhhhh. And when you get in the flow, it's amazing. I like feeling my way through a new recipe, new ingredients; even better when you have that mastery with a dish that's an old fave.

                            1. Yes! If the stress can be put aside (yes, kids, interruptions of various sorts...) it becomes the best sort of active 'prayer': making things that nurture!

                              1. loved cooking as early as i can remember, maybe 5 yrs old. my first betty crocker cook book, how i treasured it and still do. of course being in the kitchen with my sicilian grandma all the time didn't hurt. come to think of it every memory of my childhood revoles around food. so i decided to pass it on to my 4 yr old son. loves to bake, knows how to use the stand mixer, it's too cute. i started him when he was in a high chair, rolling dough etc. i think it's more than just the food, it's family memories:)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: winebarb

                                  Exactly! My son (same age, too) had my neighbor dumbstruck today when he told her about making the marinade for our pork roast. "Salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic and LOTS of garlic..." Hey, he's little, but he eats! He is actually a more skilled baker than my dh is - the little guy can grease and flour a pan, cream butter, and all sorts of baking-specific things outside daddy's skill set.

                                2. I am a nurturer, and what better way to take care of someone than to feed them? I love food and everything about it--the planning, preparation, and eating. My mother is of the opinion that it's not what you eat, it's who you eat it with. I disagree (although it's great to share meals with those you love). My parents eat out most nights--you know, the Florida early bird special--and when they're home they warm up prepared food. I happen to be visiting them right now. They are making a BBQ tomorrow for some friends and family with all ready-prepared hamburgers, pre-marinated chicken, and bought salads. I couldn't stand it, so I'm making 3 salads--cole slaw, black bean salad, and a pasta salad. My mother says, why bother, so much work. She will never understand that I enjoy it, and that it's not work to me. So I made a bet with her: all my salads will be finished down to the last spoonful, and her bought salads will be left standing on the table. Let's see what happens!
                                  I had a friend who literally didn't know how to boil water. She explained this by saying her mother said it was you only have to be good in one room in the house, and she didn't choose the kitchen. I answered, my mother told me I could be good in as many rooms as I wanted to be good in. That gave her food for thought.
                                  When you cook for others, you are sharing a part of yourself with them. What could give more pleasure than that?

                                  1. i love to cook..today was my day off from work..i made bran muffins,peanut butter and jelly cookies ..and a dinner for my clients ....the joy it brings people,clients,friends ,neighbors is all i need..i could never do it in a job sitting,,as i say to people i know i do not do demand cooking..it comes from the heart..

                                    1. Absolutely! Especially when I'm alone, listening to good music and having a few beers or some wine in the process. It's my favorite form of relaxation.

                                      1. made some biscuits for lunch. split 'em when hot, added a tad of unsalted butter to the bottom, stacked some left over ham (shaved), french mustard and a slice of cheese. good stuff. made me happy. deb liked them, too.

                                        1. For me it is the ability to be creative and spontaneous that truly makes me happy when cooking. I had some of the guys over for a Monday Night Football game a few years ago. The theme was Germanic food so we had a Norman Potato Salad and a variety of wursts. All went well. Later that evening though once the guys had left my SO told me that she was a bit hungry. So I looked in the kitchen and noticed that there were a couple of bratwursts left. There was also some ham used to prepare the potato salad. I had swiss cheese too and some gherkins. I realized then that I could make a Cuban Sandwich. There was half a baguette that I sliced and then spread with some mustard from the frig. Then I sliced the brats and ham and gherkins thinly and layered them on the baguette along with the cheese. In a saute pan I heated some butter and grilled the whole thing using a Dutch oven filled with water for weight to press it down until the sandwich was a dark golden brown. I took it out and sliced it in half on a slight bias (it made that really cool noise) and I examined it; melted cheese, ham, brat, pickle all one gooey singular expression. I added some chips and presented it to my SO and then went back downstairs to clean up. When I returned she was sitting on the bed Indian style with the plate in her lap and her head down. She then looked up right into my eyes and in a very sober and plain spoken tone said to me "this is so good".

                                          1. Cooking makes me so happy that I'm bewildered by people who don't share my enthusiam! The entire process is grounding, creative, and very relaxing.

                                            That said, I would be a liar if I didn't admit that I also enjoy the admiration I get from the people I feed. I don't think that I could put the effort and care into cooking if the activity itself were not pleasurable, so the admiration is not the driving force or even enough of a motivator to get me into the kitchen. But it would be untrue to claim that I don't like I don't enjoy the complients!

                                            1. I really love cooking... my husband absolutely doesn't understand it. When I have to work nights I come home and ask him what he had for dinner. Often the answer is "a bowl of cereal and a slice of cheese" or some other such bizarre combination of instantly ready food. I don't undertand how he can eat like that... food nourishes my soul as well as my body, and cooking is a big part of that process.

                                              1. Yes, cooking does make me happy. I came from a very food-dysfunctional family (mother was alcoholic and bulimic--father disdained anyone who was overweight and food was to be eaten, certainly not enjoyed) So, it's no wonder that most nights, if there was any dinner, it was a can of hash, canned green beans, or canned chicken chow mein, spam--food you could perhaps survive on but not relish. But, I remember the time when I made Old El Paso tacos with fresh fixin's and spanish rice and a fresh vegetable for dinner when I was 13 or 14...my father could not stop eating it...he totally loved those tacos and they made him HAPPY! Then, I felt happy! How about that? So, that's my earliest memory of feeling happy while cooking and I still look forward to cooking pretty much every night. My ex-spouse did not cook and said before our break-up "Well, ANYone can cook!" But I do look forward to cooking for our sons (who sometimes say as they come in the door "Geez, ma, what smells so good???") and anyone else who is around, most of all trying new cuisines, flavors, and learning about their histories. A co-worker recently exclaimed "My goodness, you can really get excited about food, Valerie!"

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Val

                                                  Canned Chicken chow mein?? I didn't know such a thing existed.

                                                  1. re: starlady

                                                    LaChoy brand....they still make it.

                                                2. What a wonderful, feel-good post! Cooking makes me happy too, and to echo many other posters, I find it relaxing and cathartic, I love having people over to dinner and cooking with others -- though really I like cooking alone the most, definitely while singing to myself.

                                                  I also found reading these posts relaxing and inspiring -- I can't wait to have kids to whom I can pass along my love of cooking :)

                                                  1. Cooking is therapuetic and a great stress reliever for me. I enjoy everything about it--going to the market to buy the ingredients, the chopping, slicing, and dicing, and, especially, watching others enjoy the fruits of my labor. It wasn't until I got married and started cooking for my husband that I realized why my parents always got so excited when I would request certain dishes, and, once the food was ready, I would sit down and chow down with them. They were so happy! Cooking is nourishing for my body, soul, and spirit. My parents are no longer here, but whenever I'm in the kitchen cooking, I feel them looking over me and nodding their heads in approval--not that everything I make come out wonderful--but that I continue to carry on the legacy they instilled in me.

                                                    1. I enjoyed reading all these replies and have to say... Come on! Am I the only contrarian here? Cooking does not make me happy -- only the end result does (and then not always!). The cooking part is the rueful negotiation we must make with the ingredients; it's necessary drudgery, the "watching the pot boil" part. But what can you do? What's the alternative? Mickey D? Fine dining every night? Learn to love it, I guess. But for me it's like, woo-hoo, time to tie up the roast! Time to start the sauce.

                                                      Yes, it's pleasing when you check for seasoning and the spoon to your lips brings you a smile. Yes, it's inspiring when you discover a nuance unknown. But that's because we want to eat, for goodness sake, and those discoveries bring us precious closer to the goal! Does anyone actually enjoy chopping, slicing? I mean, you've minced one rib of celery... I don't care if you're Jaques Pepin with a paring knife. It's a bit of a bore, no?

                                                      Cooking is like writing. Don't believe any writer who tells you they enjoy the process. The process is a struggle, a finessing, a cajoling. When I'm poaching sole, it's like "Oh come on you little bastards! Get over yourselves! Give it up already!"

                                                      Can we eat yet?

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: markp

                                                        I actually really enjoy the rhythmic elements of cooking. I like stirring and I love pounding dough, or forming dumplings with my hands, and I also love arranging food on a platter. I like chopping less... maybe because I have to pay more attention to not cut my fingers off.

                                                        And incidentally, I really enjoy writing. Maybe that makes me a masochist -- sometimes I enjoy the struggle... but I think where your comparison is spot on is that there are elements that are difficult but that there is still a creative catharsis.

                                                        1. re: markp

                                                          markp...maybe its over thinking it that you don't like. Most of us go through the process of cooking, to enjoy eating...sounds logical, simply put.

                                                          1. re: markp

                                                            Sometimes I feel this way - that the only reason I'm cooking is to get a tasty meal on the table, and yes, the part I enjoy is when everyone is happy with what i made. Other times i really get into it and enjoy the process as much as the product. It depends on my mood, as well as what i'm cooking.

                                                            But when I bake, it's always about both the process and the product. I love baking, and consider it to be a very creative outlet for me (as cooking can be for me as well.) I know I let of people think baking isn't creative (the whole "you have to be exact" thing") but it's actually very creative. Sometimes it's creative just in finding the exact right thing to make for the occasion and the people's tastes who will be eating it. Sometimes it's creative in the sense of making recipes your own by changing flavor components. Sometimes it's about execution - icing a cake or cookie, arranging components of a tart just so, etc. etc. All wrapped up in this is the quality time I spend with my cooking and baking books dreaming about what i want to do next.

                                                            1. re: markp

                                                              I'm in the "doesn't like to cook camp" and also because of hubby and I having different food preferences, we each tend to settle when we cook at home and get what we want when we go out.

                                                              1. re: markp

                                                                I see your point and can only speak for myself--I do like the chopping, slicing, etc. It takes a certain level of concentration and focus (if only, as someone pointed out, to make sure you still have all your fingers at the end), which I really enjoy.

                                                              2. I met someone who told me he cooked 2 nights, his wife (who was also a lawyer, I think) cooked 2 nights and they ate out 3 -- maybe not fancy, maybe takeout. I thought that was a good way to work it out. I like to cook - sometimes - but hate the clean up.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                  Agreed, Walker. I hate the clean up too.

                                                                  But the process of cooking is wonderful. It's a craft and it can be elevated to an art given the practitioner.

                                                                2. I think I love cooking right now in my life because I have so few things I feel truly in control of. With two little children, sometimes cooking is the only time I get to actually DO what I want to do. Also, raising chldren is such a gratification-deferred kind of of process that it's nice sometimes to accomplish something with more immediate results. Even with two screaming, nutty children running around my legs, I sometimes can't stop attempting something much more ambitious than I should. My husband thinks it's crazy--he loves cooking, but only when there's clearly enough time and energy for it, whereas I will be frantically cooking way past when everyone's supposed to have started dinner. Like an addiction, but a relatively harmless one, I suppose! Now if I could only get my children to EAT what I cook for them instead of macaroni & cheese (sigh)...

                                                                  1. Cooking definitely makes me happy. Cooking for people I love makes me even happier. My daughter, who is away at college, informed me of the dishes I HAVE to make for her while she's home on spring break. Nothing fancy, she's just jonesing for her Mom's home cooking. I got all teary-eyed.

                                                                    1. It's not the cooking that makes me happy - it's the eating. I cook most days, trying at least 2 new recipes a week - often more. The joke is that we never have the same thing twice! Not true, but not too far off sometimes! Not being able to afford (money or time-wise) going out too often, trying new recipes keeps it interesting and exciting for me, but the whole thing is really about the eating. If I had a private chef to give the recipes to, I would only occasionally feel the need to strap on my apron, I think.

                                                                      1. When I have the time (or choose to take the time), cooking is absolutely an enjoyable, meditative process, and to me it's at least as important as the eating. Cleaning up? Not so much.

                                                                        1. I love cooking, and look forward to shopping for my meals once I have my ingredient list prepared. I think about my Saturday, and Sunday menus all week, thinking about what might be good to either try, or which time tested favorites I will make.

                                                                          This past weekend I was not that adventerous:

                                                                          Sat for lunch grilled chicken tacos on corn tortillas, however I had to make guacamole, and salsa( grilled roma tomatoes, serrano peppers, garlic, and red onion to give it a smokey flavor after seeing a recipie that called for this method) from scratch . For dinner last night was a meidium rare roast beef with mashed potatoes(made with heavy cream, minced garlic, and butter) & gravy.

                                                                          Last weekend I made Chicken Vesuvio, and it turned out excellent.

                                                                          As for cooking for a job, I loved it when I did it, it didnt seem like work, and quitting time came quickly each day. If there was decent money to be made(as a line cook/banquet cook, Im not a chef), and the hours weren't so crappy I would still be doing it.

                                                                          1. Yes, it makes me happy. I have been a passionate cook since being a kid. It is a creative outlet. I used to do silk screening but don't have the space to set up my stuff. But my kitchen is big and light, I've got good equipment it is a pleasure whether it just for my DH and me or for friends

                                                                            1. I love cooking. I have a very analytical/logical job, so cooking is my creative outlet and I NEED it to keep me balanced and smiling.

                                                                              1. I learned how to cook as a kid in an extended family of excellent cooks, but was indifferent to cooking (but passionate about eating) during a long period of becoming and being a good agricultural and social scientist--research, publishing, fund raising, PhD students. But I lost wives and a daughter along the way.

                                                                                Now I have/make more than enough time for cooking for my wife, three year old daughter and me and for big get-togethers. For the three of us, anything anytime. For the big groups, you name the number and the food, you buy what I need, give me the needed kitchen help and your kitchen--and away we go. My wife and daughter are with me when I cook, which is one reason why I like it. People recognize and appreciate food made with love and skill: all a lot easier than the cut-throat world of science.

                                                                                1. Yes, it makes me happy.

                                                                                  Last summer when Mike's grandson was here, he and I were in the kitchen together every day for at least a couple of hours. He had taken a cooking class at school, and found he enjoyed it--a surprise to him since no one in his house cooks. So all summer he and I cooked together. It was a wonderful bonding experience to spend the summer cooking with this 16-year-old kid I'd only met for the first time less than a year before.

                                                                                  My family is filled with wonderful cooks who love to cook. We cook for each other, cook together, and above all else enjoy eating one another's cooking. My mom has spent a little over a year putting together a couple of cookbooks, one for her church and one for the family, that one based on one I made for Cody to take home at the end of the summer. I have a cousin who's a chef and I've never seen him happier than when he's in the kitchen. He says he doesn't cook like that just for himself but loves to cook for others. I'm not like that: one weekend last summer when Mike and Cody took a road trip together, I made a batch of pasta from scratch to have for supper.

                                                                                  1. For me not cooking, but rather baking is my true passion. My dh is the cook, I'm the pastry chef. I think it bring back pleasant childhood memories of my mother and grandmother and there's nothing like the smell of good vanilla.

                                                                                    1. I love to cook, and did it for a living for a while. But I hate to bake! I am too much of a "let's see what happens when i throw this in" to bake with much success. Certain things I do well. I make killer Ginger gread (with Guiness) and I rock at pies. I HATE to make bread, I have no patience for it LOL.
                                                                                      I took over the kitchen from my Mum when i was 11, she wasn't a "bad" cook but you knew if it was Tuesday it was porkchops. She had a set repertoire that only deviated in the summer when my Dad would BBQ. SO I intro'd things like Hoisin sauce, and fresh ginger into the kitchen. My sibs LOVED me. And all of my friends if they aren't foodies when we meet they are very soon. And they love coming over for dinner or inviting me to parties cause I always bring some interesting dip or something new for them to try. I love to cook for others but sometimes I splurge on something just for my self (too good to share!).
                                                                                      I just wish I had a dishwasher!

                                                                                      1. I was a baker. Too much like flying---hours of unadulterated boredom and tedium punctuated by the occasional moment of sheer terror.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                          That is a wonderful description of baking! I couldn't agree more, although I never did fly a plane.

                                                                                        2. I love cooking as long as someone will do the washing after...but cooking after a 12 hour shift from work defo not in my vocabulary, thank God my hubby can whipped up a fast recipe or ended up getting take outs. With 5 kids, and both of us working, it's really hard to cook everyday. Plus I got the problem of after cooking all the dishes, I ended up not able to enjoy my own cooking coz I've been tasting it, lol. It does makes me happy that everytime I cook, my family raves on it. It's the cleaning after that ughhhhhhh...

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Byng27

                                                                                            Hoo boy, I would't want to be cleaning up after cooking for 7 people either!!!

                                                                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                              I don't mind cleaning up after I cook. I'm neat and clean as I go. Hubby, on the other hand, uses a plethora of pans and dishes, the largest ones possible, and it looks like we qualify for FEMA assistance after he is done.

                                                                                              1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                lol @ Janet from Richmond...... my hubby's the same, but we both have a rule that whoever makes the mess, will clean it up.... so when does cook, I watch him clean the kitchen too. Suit me well. I'm not generalizing men, but most men in my family and friends hubbies are messy when doing something in the kitchen. Oh, and you're right, they tend to use the biggest pot/pans they can find in the cupboards, hahaha....
                                                                                                Thanks for the laugh.....

                                                                                          2. I love cooking and it makes me happy. Cooking also turned out to be the thing that my father and I bonded over as I became an adult. So it's worth it just for that, to be able to cook with my dad.

                                                                                            Also, cooking is better than sudoku when it comes to brain exercise. I am constantly bringing home stuff from food shops that I have no plans for but that caught my eye. So every week I pull out those odds and ends from the back of the cupboard and the fridge and say, "now what can I make this week with one turnip, some nori, smoked paprika, and three ounces of blue cheese?..."