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Cooking - your own prep

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I like the idea of being in charge of one's own meals. I just don't like the prep or the clean up. I don't even mind the actual cooking. Part of the prep anxiety is wondering if everything will be ready "just in time". That lack of control that happens as you are trying to make everything click together. When you get it "just so", then you stop worrying, and you accept the process for what it is: a flow that has its own sense of time.

The clean-up is also anxiety producing for me. I am perpetually thinking: "This is not the best use of my time; there are other things more important that need doing; why am I stuck here doing dishes, putting things away -- if I had eaten out, I wouldn't be in this position right now, wondering if I will get to ...... / have enough time to ______ ". How creative and rapid - fire I can be in elaborating so many ways to not respect all sides of the food preparation and home cooking package!

Yes, this is about respect; respect for my body, but more importantly, respect for each individual's capacity to learn to, and to continue to maintain one's day-to-day functioning. You can't easily get around it - so keep planning, weighing and measuring, preparing, presenting, cleaning up, and repeating the process. The respect that you have for your body comes full circle in the quality of your living and the living legacy you demonstrate to the ones you hold dear.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh, I so understand this- I grew up learning to cook from one Italian great-grandmother (Nonna), and my gourmet-chef gran. Graduating from dishwasher to veggie slicer was celebration worthy!

    I usually just have a strict timeline I adhere to when I do multi-course meals. I'm pretty practiced at slicing and dicing, so I know approximately how long I'll take for every step. From there on out, it's just a matter of having enough bowls to store each and every sliced and prepped ingredient differently.

    If I know I'm going to have to do a multi-course meal, I try to include at least some dishes I can make the day before, takes a lot of stress out of prep. I also tend to avoid serving things like steak that need to be cooked to order if there's more than six people coming.

    The good thing about having a lot of guests is that they always take over clean-up. I don't get to rule my own kitchen after everyone has finished eating- especially my Southern European friends (Italian and Spanish) just invade, divide, and conquer, and everything's spotless in the end. I've given up trying to protest.

    I agree with you, too- cooking is FUN! (I still prefer patisserie, though)
    1842 days ago
    I used to do lots of cooking before I got married. Matter of fact, I think that is how I convinced my wife I was a keeper. LOL But once we got married, I backed off and let her do it 99% of the time.

    Now that the kids have both pretty much left the roost, and it is just the wife and I, I have gotten back into cooking and find it rather fun. The only real difference is that now I cook with more nutrition in mind and find that is yet another challenge.

    I also pride myself in timing and wish I did know more about it than I presently do. Since I try to put together fast and nutritious meals, I sometimes have to pause a bit to get my mind around what cooks in the least amount of time, etc. to make the meal come together all at once. Watching Hell's Kitchen helps. LOL

    Like all things, it just takes time and patience. Keep the faith.
    2024 days ago
    I cook every meal for 4, even though there are just 2 of us - 2 servings go on plate, 2 into tupperware to take for work. it helps!
    2030 days ago
    I was on your side right up until you said that clean-up is a part of the process. *sigh* Really?? :-P

    Like you, I have anxiety about the prep work, because I've always tried to have everything ready at a precise time, so that the whole meal is ready on time. But worse is the "did I make enough for everyone for supper" anxiety during prep. I weigh, I measure, I calculate bad fats vs. good fats, and then I'll look at how much food is on the plate, and still, to this day, I always think, "Gee, there isn't much there." I grew up in a loving home that had 3 overweight and one underweight persons living and eating together, so relearning how to cook for 2 normal-sized people was VERY difficult. Do I trust my eyes and add a little more to the plate? No, I trust the weighing & measuring, because in the end, like you, I know that amount is what I should have, no more and no less.

    Thank you for the thought-out blog. :-D
    2033 days ago
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