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Flat out sick of cooking....

We are getting our house ready to put on the market, and paying a price for all those years of neglect :0( It will be lovely when we are done painting and sprucing it up, but it's a boatload of work. On top of that, it's crazy at work and I am also trying to cook up the food I have stockpiled here in my house---frozen meats, frozen fruits, dried beans, canned tomatoes, many different kinds of rice, etc.---as well as what the garden is producing. And I have enough stockpiled food in this house to feed my entire block for a long while!

When I've cooked up most of this stuff (which I am cooking now so I don't have to pay movers to move it), I intend to eat every dinner out for a month. Has anyone done that? Taken a long break from cooking? After a certain number of meals out, did you regain your cooking mojo?


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  1. We had a kitchen renovation and had to eat out/order in for about 3 weeks. I hated it. At first it was nice, but after about a week I hated not having total control over what we were eating as far as ingredients. I couldn't wait to cook again. Funny thing was, once I had my new kitchen I had to get used to the new stovetop, plus I was a bit out of practice, so it took about a week to get back into it, but once I got going it came on strong.

    1. Yes, I go through bouts of both cooking and eating out. I tend to lose a lot of motivation for cooking when I'm dealing with something difficult in my life. After awhile of this, I do get tired of eating out and will always find myself in the kitchen again before not too long. I don't think you have anything to worry about. :)

      1. Yes, sometimes life's unpredictable and predictable events are so mentally and physically overwhelming that they rob us of energy to do the very things that bring us joy. For me cooking is one of those things that I love to do and for me, it takes my unwavering attention and focus.

        1. During the heat spell this past summer, while I was juggling crazy work hours, I had salad (bagged greens plus some kind of meat/cheese/eggs/fish) on top 5 days a week.

          It's fine to do what you have to do to get through stressful times. As long as you and family are fed and it doesn't break the bank, go with it. Your mojo will come back when you're settled in the new home (and kitchen!)

          1 Reply
          1. re: pinehurst

            We have a six month heat spell in Houston. Looking forward to firing up the stove top in a month or so, and the oven in November.

          2. Moving, selling, etc just sucks the energy right out of you doesn't it?

            Occasionally I just am burned out. I just don't want to stand any more (I stand all day at work) and I'm not excited about what is usually a joy or at least not a chore. After a couple of days of restaurant food, I'm ready to get back in the game. Or at least reheat leftovers I've frozen

            1 Reply
            1. re: autumm

              You are so right! I am moving again for the second time in 15 months. The sale of this house has been a real pain in the ass. I am stressed, burned out and exhausted.

              I have also been trying to eat down my stockpile of frozen and pantry items. I feel so mentally exhausted that I have been putting together very basic meals.

              I have been putting off eating out because I may be in temporary housing for a couple of months yet again. When we did that last year, we ate out a lot more and I am sure it will happen again.

              I am anxious to get to Reno my new destination and into a house that we are building. The kitchen will be amazing so I am trying to focus on that and the fact that I can have a garden again.

            2. It only takes a few days of dinner out for me to crave real food from my own kitchen. We did a kitchen remodel when the boys were little, it took a year all told, but 6 months with no kitchen. Even though it was a pain to cook with the stove in the garage, and the microwave and fridge in the dining room, I still cooked as often as possible.

              I understand your pain, though. You've got a lot on your plate, as it were, these days! Hope the house sells quickly!

              1. Thanks, guys. Your comments are very reassuring. :0)

                1. We are in the middle of the Jewish holyday/holiday season (from Rosh HaShanah <New Year>, thru Sukkot <Tabernacle>) and this year it falls out that Holy Days have three sets of Thursday, Friday, Saturday/Sabbath. This means that I cook 19 feasts for 24 guests within a 3 week period, plus all , the regular weekday meals and breakfasts for those staying in our home for the holidays. 6 family members are in for the duration, so it means cooking 6 extra meals three times per day on the non-holidays during this time period.
                  While I love to cook and entertain our family for the holidays, this is pushing it. The day after the holidays end. My wife and I are leaving for a three week vacation with no cooking. I anticipate dining out most nights, but sometimes we may pick up some fresh fruit, cheese and bread for a simple meal in our hotel room.
                  By the time we get back, i'll be anxious ti fire up the stove and cook things seasons exactly as we like them and not as some chf thinks they should be.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bagelman01

                    wow bman01 - you are a host of the highest degree.

                    if it wouldn't be mean and found out, I'd probably have faked my own death or something a week or 2 before RH only to be miraculously found (and with an excellent tan) sometime shortly after Sukkot.

                    1. re: hill food

                      This holiday season is the only time of the year all the siblings, inlaws, cousins, etc are together, some traveling thousands of miles. The other holidays, they are free to spend with their nuclear families, spouses' families, friends or on their own.

                      It is worth the effort and expense to have all the cousins in the next generations interact and know who their family is and what traditions including food bind them as one.

                      This year I watched and listened to a third cousins' grandchild point to a particular holiday food item served on one of my great-great-grandmother's fish plates. The four year old said to his grandmother: That's the same plate you have (in Hawaii) and the food looks and tastes the same as you make. So this four year old surrounded by family, he may have never met before, was eating food from a 100+ year old family recipe, served on a plate from his 4XGreat grandmother's wedding set and felt that it was all connected and not overwhelming. This makes it worthwile There were 12 fish plates in that set from 1873 and there is one in each branch of the family, and as my line had the eldest in each generation, I also have the serving platter.

                      and yes I'm getting tired of all the cooking, but Oct 1 I'm out of here......................

                  2. You're in the midst of Stress City what with the sprucing up the house, work insanity, and trying to use up food in the house. Thinking about cooking is probably low on the "gotta do" totem pole, but it's adding to your stress.

                    I'm not sure of how far your move is going to be (cross-country vs. cross-town?), but I'd give a little on trying to use up the food *now*. Order out once in awhile, just to give yourself a break.

                    When I've gone away for vacation, I love the eating out - for the first couple of days, but it gets tiring after awhile. So when I get home? I can't WAIT to make something in my own kitchen - even if it's just spaghetti and meat sauce with garlic bread. So taking a break from cooking now will (hopefully) relieve a bit of the craziness you're dealing with.

                    And if you don't want to pay movers to move the dry and canned goods? Donate it to a food pantry before you move.

                    1. I go through cycles. When I lose my mojo, I just keep the meals simple. Even when I've lost my mojo, I don't go out to eat as we rarely do but there is a lot of tuna, eggs and chicken. Eventually, it comes right back and usually stronger than ever so now I don't worry when I hit a slump.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        Can't tell you how much I appreciate your posts, guys. Bagelman---I get tired just reading your post! I hope your vacation is wonderfully restorative! LindaWhit--I had just started thinking the same thing--that I should donate some of this food---and your wonderful post is steering me there. Thank you! Fidhkybnava and others--thanks for your reassurance that my cooking mojo will come back!

                        1. re: soccermom13

                          it will come back - just roll with the punches, or to use a different metaphor: ride out in the glassies until you find your wave (hope I got that surfing term right).

                          LW has great words, just please no pumpkin pie filling and cling peaches to the food bank.

                          1. re: soccermom13

                            soccermom - make a note - the food pantries will NOT take anything with an expired Use By date (despite the fact that most, if not all, canned/boxed food items would still be perfectly edible). So check that before you box it up to donate.

                            And hang in there. Soon you'll be settled into the new place, and you'll want to cook in your new-to-you kitchen!

                        2. I never get tired of cooking, though I've been going it for over 4 decades. I hate hot, humid weather but over the years have come up with workarounds that still allow me to prepare home-made meals year-round. I would hate to eat dinner out on a regular basis.

                          1. i live in an area that has many wonderful restaurants.
                            now, i only cook when i'm dieting, making food for a pot luck, or when i have company coming over.

                            i LOVE LOVE LOVE eating out and there is no logic in forcing myself to go back to the freezing, cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping, storing, left-overs, and wasted food (because rarely can you buy just what you need for a given recipe) involved in home cooking.

                            for lunch today i had a phenomenal squid salad that contained over 15 ingredients. even if i wanted to replicate it, there is no way that i could get all those PERFECTLY FRESH ingredients and make the salad without spending a ridiculous amount of money and gas going from store to store, without incurring huge amounts of wasted food and let's not even talk about the time washing and preparing the ingredients and the CLEANING afterwards.

                            i seen no need to make a pot of soup or stew and then be stuck eating the same thing /left overs for days afterwards while the carrots/chard/fresh herbs etc. that i bought for the dish but didn't use completely sit and rot or get degraded until i throw them out.

                            also, i got rid of the freezer when i calculated how much money i was spending on electricity in order to be able to eat meat that is six months old.
                            after i ditched the freezer, i had to admit to myself that the fish and chicken that had been stored there really didn't taste as good as fresh, so not only was i spending money on electricity, but the food i was eating as a result was inferior. (turns out wolfgang puck was right about this)

                            1. You've heard from the tried and true; the battle-weary, tired and flat-out pooped that your cooking mojo will, indeed, return. My late husband was a Naval Officer. We had 14 moves in 20 years. As a chef, I had a lot of food to deal with each and every time a move was announced. Unfortunately, many of these moves were on very short notice, so it was often a panic. I had stockpiled prepared meals for the birth of our first child when unexpected orders had us move just before delivery (son born en route, but that is another story). I made the rounds in the neighborhood giving away frozen dinners to all takers.

                              After my husband retired, we renovated a house. It was awful -- the kitchen was torn up for almost three months. Washing dishes in the bathtub got old quickly but eating out was the worst. A novelty for the first week, it paled quickly. All I can tell you is that after you settle down and life takes on what passes for 'normal', you will likely regain your love affair with food. I know that I did.

                              Try to keep a smile and positive attitude. It helped me to think what a lovely problem it is to have too much food .......

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Sherri

                                How true : "what a lovely problem it is to have too much food ......."

                                I remind myself how lucky I am to have enough discretionary $$ to improve a home and to have plenty of food to cook. It does help put things in perspective.

                                Everyone---thanks for your thoughtful and helpful comments.

                                1. re: soccermom13

                                  That is so true and thanks for reminding me as well :) nice to take a step back and ponder.

                              2. I moved from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur 2.5 years back, and had stopped cooking since then.

                                Used to throw/host lunch/dinner parties in my Singapore apartment. Somehow, the move between cities and accompanying culture shock changed something in me. Also, it's quite a chore rebuilding a new circle of friends in a new city.

                                Been eating out all the time here.