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Weird cooking question


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#1 Lees75

Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:54 PM

Do you think it is possible to make yourself like cooking?

I have always hated cooking (Love eating, though!!!!). I have bought gadgets to make it easier - slow cooker, air-fryer and thermomix, but I generally hate cooking.

I am time poor, being a single mum, self-employed in a very busy business.

When I don't have the kids, I never cook for myself, and always eat out/order in.

I am also trying to fix my spiralling life and create some better balance with self-care and it would be very convenient if I could somehow convince myself that I like cooking, so that this could be some down-time, as well as the benefits of over-all healthier!

Is is possible?

#2 rosie28

Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:58 PM

Maybe? I made myself like olives (I was veggie at the time and it was annoying picking them out of everything). I trained myself.

Maybe start with something you do enjoy making. Do you like baking? Or do a make your own pizza night with the kids once a week? Or tacos with lots of toppings?

#3 Let-it-go

Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:05 PM

It’s an hard question for me to answer because I love cooking so I instantly think YES, learn to love cooking, it’s great.  But I get horses for courses and all that.  I hate basketball and no forcing me to watch basketball is going to make me love it!

One thing I have noticed is that those of us that love to cook, we prioritise time to it.  Read recipe books to choose something yummy, plan the shopping, go to specialty shops to get the best ingredients and then spend the time to cook the meal.  The ritual is relaxing if there’s no pressing deadline, music is playing etc and  the results are often better when time has been spent.  

People who don’t enjoy cooking will understandably not prioritise the time, get the ingredients in a rush at Woolies and cook at 6pm with hungry kids under their feet, it’s a rush, tiredness means they don’t read recipe properly and the results are a bit blah.  And you think, gah, that was unenjoyable and for such little reward.

So if you are committed to trying to learn to like cooking, you need to give it some love.  And time.  Lots of TLC makes delicious food.

So my hints would be to try and take time from elsewhere, go to a lovely shop for some ingredients (you can PM me for a list of all the best shops in the area you live as I live quite near you.....god I sound like a stalker :laugh:), turn on the music or a podcast and just go slowly.  Cook something simple that relies on good quality produce and minimal processes to start.

Edited by Let-it-go, 24 August 2019 - 06:07 PM.


#4 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:07 PM

I like learning. So to me cooking is about learning as if I were learning a language. Whats the best knife to use, whats the best technique etc.

May be of no help to you but I didn't use to be interested in cooking and that's how I got interested and I love it now.

I think its common to not like cooking, I hear lots of people say they hate it. That's OK imho, we are all different. You can still cook nutritious meals with not much effort like nice salads or rice dishes for example.

#5 Lees75

Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:07 PM

View Postrosie28, on 24 August 2019 - 05:58 PM, said:

Maybe? I made myself like olives (I was veggie at the time and it was annoying picking them out of everything). I trained myself.

Maybe start with something you do enjoy making. Do you like baking? Or do a make your own pizza night with the kids once a week? Or tacos with lots of toppings?

I do actually "cook" when I have the kids - tacos being one of the main things we have - mostly because DD12 will cook it herself - lol!

But a lot of the nights, it is grabbing something from the supermarket that is quick and easy, like spaghetti bolognese, made from a jar, or pre-purchased quiche and salad.

I don't particularly like baking, but might hunt around for some easy recipes tonight as we will all enjoy eating it!

In my desperation, I am even thinking of getting the new thermomix to make cooking fun, as I do like gadgets and online stuff. (Plus, I can write it off on tax, because, ironically, don't laugh, I do a fair bit of cooking training therapy planning for work (OT) )

#6 PatG

Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:09 PM

I think you could. Would your budget allow you to try one of the cook it yourself meal boxes? Hello fresh, Marley spoon or similar? That way you remove for a while the needing to think about what to cook/what ingredients you need etc and hopefully get the joy of creating something yummy, minus some of the thought load.

#7 Daffy2016

Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:18 PM

I still don’t like cooking but a few things helped me hate it less:
- Buying preprepared ingredients when I can. So frozen chopped onion, garlic in a tube, herbs already chopped etc. Packets of chopped veggies for stirfries.
- One pan recipes. Recipe tin eats is great for these. Chuck everything in a pan/roasting tray and have done with it.
- Take the pressure off. Eggs with a side of spinach and mushrooms is a perfectly acceptable dinner.

Of course this depends if you have the budget to shortcut. I still don’t love cooking and I’m sure people who do would be quietly horrified at my laziness, but that’s life!

#8 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:23 PM

I loved cooking, but the time poor nature of life with small children has turned it into another chore. DH has been away for 10 days and I only cooked very simple food for the kids. Not cooking a proper main meal every evening made life much easier (big kid eats meat/fish plus veg, toddler gets the same, ignores it and just eats yoghurt). I love baking, so I’ve been trying to do that more frequently (and toddler will eat cake made with vegetables :lol: )

So I suspect while you are time poor it will probably fall into the chore category. Answer, find more time for cooking  :rofl:

#9 SplashingRainbows

Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:31 PM

I quite enjoy cooking but don’t love it. It’s up much higher on the list than washing and folding - but my bestie would prefer to wash and fold than cook.

I enjoy the satisfaction of making people happy by making a yummy meal. There’s an end result (a dish) and to me that’s motivating - creating something I can see.

Being organized with groceries and a meal plan helps. I online shop and do a 3 week meal plan at a time. We have simple meals on busy weeknights and I cook on Sunday for the babysitter to re heat Monday which helps.

Would putting some music on while you cook help?

Edited by SplashingRainbows, 24 August 2019 - 06:32 PM.


#10 SeaPrincess

Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:37 PM

I don’t love cooking, but I do find planning ahead makes it easier, plus I know how long each meal is going to take to prepare. I agree with PP that if you can run to the cost of something like Hello Fresh, it’s a great way to cook easy recipes, and to learn new recipes. They’re easy enough for your children to start getting into cooking as well - our 13yo has started cooking the Hello Fresh meals, and I know several other families whose high school-aged children take turns to cook them as well.

#11 Pip_longstockings

Posted 24 August 2019 - 06:45 PM

OP I am with you, I hate cooking. It is just another chore I have to do, a timely chore which I resent. Maybe when the kids are older and I don't get complaints at every meal I will enjoy it more.  I also don't like what I cook.

#12 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:11 PM

I think you might like Marley Spoon.  It takes out the thought work, and the recipes are just interesting enough while still being straightforward.  They use a few unusual ingredients  but those come supplied.  You can easily switch meals or skip a week if nothing appeals.

#13 Moukmouk

Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:17 PM

I do like to cook. My mother was an awful cook, so I think I like been able to make nice meals. But good cooking can be very simple cooking. Sometimes just learning some simple basics make cooking much more enjoyable. Jamie Oliver has a lot of good quick ideas. And the women’s weekly cookbooks are excellent for recipes that may look simple but actually work. The old Marie Claire cookbooks were good. Taste.com.au is usually reliable. A well stocked freezer and pantry help a lot.


#14 hills mum bec

Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:18 PM

I hate cooking during the week when I have been working all day and am time poor.  On the weekends when I have time to plan, shop and spend time cooking without being rushed I love it.  I can’t imagine ever learning to like cooking when I am time poor.

#15 wilding

Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:22 PM

My son's 18 and I still hate cooking, the planning the works. Thankfully now he cooks his own dinner and has done for a couple of years now :rofl:

#16 Kattikat

Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:23 PM

Choose a recipe that involves wine. One for you, one for the pot. And repeat.

#17 archyandmehitabel

Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:24 PM

I am over cooking for the family. At night I prefer something that takes little time. These days I do a lot of cooking beforehand so I can heat and eat. You can do batches of spaghetti or pasta sauce that way. Slow cooker, if it is a big one, will ualy give you a few meals.

#18 Expelliarmus

Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:24 PM

I still don't love cooking but I am doing much better since I got Hello Fresh. For about a year and a half I got the boxes almost every week. I didn't have to think, plan, find ingredients, work out what to do or cook and it just came on my doorstep. I didn't need any specialised equipment or ingredients because any random or exotic ingredient was supplied. Most ingredients aren't exotic however - they are regularly available things. A big motivator was the fact that I had the food there from the box and felt guilty if I didn't use it - the motivation was both effective and also kinda weird! There was something about specific items with a purpose not being used properly that my mind couldn't handle lol!

After around 18 months, and in the 18 or so months since, I have stopped getting the boxes but I still go on the website and get recipes each week. Now I shop for things myself - because I know what I'm looking for usually, having seen almost everything they use at least once. If I can't find the exact thing, having used the supplied items I can find an approximation that works. The recipes aren't completely foolproof but they are written in an easy to follow manner and aren't terribly complex.

As a bonus I've lost at least 10 kg since using Hello Fresh to meal plan and cook. I believe it's because I'm eating more appropriate portions, particularly of fats and meats, and increased my vegetable intake.

#19 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:27 PM

like other PP’s i’m probably not best person to answer as i love cooking. but i think yes, it is possible. do you like watching cooking shows? do they inspire you? or reading some well known books - Elizabeth David, Nigella has a wonderful way with words.....i find rick stein very personable (on his shoes and in his books - don’t know what he’s like IRL) - i get motivated by going to great markets like in china town, fish markets - and i love LOVE getting new cookware - i could spend hours browsing The Essential Ingredient or a Le Creuset shop - not sure if any of that helps! but cooking to me appeals to all of the senses - taste and smell obvs, but look, feel...

#20 Coffeegirl

Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:14 PM

I enjoy cooking, but only for larger groups.   Got 10 people coming for a dinner party??  I’m your lady!


But cook just for myself?  Lean cuisine, takeaway or an omelette.   I just find all the extra cleaning just to make a meal for myself the chore.  Rather than the cooking itself.


OP, could you make a bit extra when you cook for the kids and freeze it?    IE make lasagne, and freeze a couple individual portions for when you are on your own.   Add a side salad and dinner is done.

Even tacos - make some extra mince and freeze it.    Grab some burrito shells, shredded cheese, tomato and some sliced avocado and you have a quick tasty dinner without too much hassle

#21 joykey

Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:29 PM

I used to love cooking but since working full time I find it just another chore.  Especially when the one dd I have left at home is fussier these days than she was as a child, so it's either tie myself up in knots trying to suit her taste or cook what I want knowing only I will eat it and she'll be eating a bowl of instant noodles lol.  

I second the meal planning thing.  I also think reading recipe blogs such as recipetineats helps.  Nagi is so beautiful and down to earth and not at all a food snob - makes things simple and easy and offers lots of alternatives for ingredients etc.  Check it out and check out the thread here called "Nagi - I love you" (or words to that effect).

#22 JoanJett

Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:45 PM

I love to cook... but not always.

Things that help are finding websites/books that have the food  you like.  Most good food is really easy to cook - it's about the balance of flavours and fresh ingredients.  

Meal planning is really helpful.  It's less wasteful for shopping and it takes the "decision" factor out.  I plan for a week.  I might change up the order of things, but I know what I'm going to cook and have the ingredients ready.

For the times you're on your own, prepare ahead.  I have things I make extra of that freeze well, so when my husband's away, I can pull a meal out of the freezer that needs little extra preparation.  Soups, curries, tagines etc all freeze well.

I'll second Expelli's suggestion of agencies like Hello Fresh.  I don't see the point for us -  but I completely get that for people who struggle with what to cook, they are fabulous.  Even if you use them for a short while, you can keep the recipe cards and have your  own system ready to go.

One of the best online resources I've found is actually the goodfood part of the Fairfax websites.  Lots of range, good collections and food that I like to eat.

#23 AprilEthereal

Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:02 PM

What is it you don't like about it? Boring,laborius, time poor pressures etc?

I generally love cooking and would consider myself a foodie but if I'm so busy at night and working during the day, it can have an impact.

To answer your question, I do think it may be possible. You can train yourself and find motivation along the way which will hopefully inspire you to go forward.

If I'm in a rut, I go through my cook books, magazines, my own photos, various foodie groups on facebook and get some ideas. I write them, save them etc. I do get excited by the visual and mental thought of different recipes so that spurs on my mojo. Plus I love trying and creating new things.

I think if you enjoy eating then it is possible to train yourself to enjoy cooking and it doesn't have to be complicated with eleventy billion ingredients.  It can be as simple as say, a Caprese salad which is basically tomato, basil, bocconcini/ buffalo mozzarella, drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze.

Best wishes!

#24 chicken_bits

Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:03 PM

I think being a parent completely sucked the fun out of cooking for me.

I used to love it. Now I hate it because it's always the same few meals because no matter how much I try (or don't try), the kids refuse to eat anything else I make.

I imagine that chefs enjoy cooking day in and day out because the people who eat their food (usually) enjoy it.

#25 darcswan

Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:36 PM

Depends what you don't like about it!

My DH is a wonderful cook and I was meh about it. Looking back, its just that I had to think about every element - the prep, the timing etc.

Now it's like a part of my evening ritual. I listen to a podcast or music while I cook... Experience means I'm thinking less about timing, and just kind of letting it come together. I get home at 8/8:30ish and I'm only 10min away from work, so I use it as a chance to switch off from work.

Food is one of those fundamental things. You're nourishing your family. Its hard to enjoy things if you don't feel confident or are working in the chaos of kids... But.... I like it now :)




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