When I listen to women lament of their kitchen struggles; I want to empower them to become a confident cook who attends to the importance of relational connectedness at the table.
If eating is the sixth love language, then mine is cooking for that person. I understand what Eric Liddell meant when he said, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure,” because when I get to cook & teach others how to cook, I feel God’s pleasure. There is this delight in watching the person take the first bite of my creation unwrapping the gift.
Women either lack the confidence, the know how, joy in the process or food allergies further inhibiting them from cooking and eating. Questions arise, “Where does one even begin?,” “How do you add flavor?,” “What do I do with these food allergies?,” which leave more doubt than answers.
When Cooking Throws Us a Curveball
Back in college was my first encounter with a friend who had various food allergies. My heart hurt knowing she couldn’t eat what the rest of us were eating, so I set out to make cookies she could eat (this was in a time when gluten-free was the plague and stores didn’t cater to it). Fast forward and I have walked down that path myself, or watched my mama friends relearn how to bake without eggs, nuts, gluten, and dairy for their kids.
So when women are already putting forth so much to provide well-balance to their life or family by showing up in the kitchen to then have to cook foods to meet a specified diet often serves as the last straw. Couple this for the woman who already struggles in the kitchen without the added decoding of unknown ingredients.
How do I become a confident cook with joy?
It can feel like all you do is cook, cook, cook, sucking any aspect of joy out of it. Not to mention, when you do cook you don’t get instant satisfaction from the “mmms” chorused around the table. Maybe you feel like this cooking is pointless, not a battle to fight because you have selective eaters? You might feel at the end of your rope, and anything but a confident cook. But, I want to offer you practical hope in two ways. The first are three easy tips below:
Three Easy Ways to Combat Cooking Blues
1. Simple Meals
There is no need to overthink meals. Cook up large dinners, which provide for leftover lunches. I have eggs every weekday for breakfast. In the beginning of cooking a new way, give yourself permission to be mundane. Julia Child didn’t start out making boeuf bourguignon.
2. Cook One New Ingredient
One reads about fermentation, making condiments from scratch, and wonder how anyone does it all. Truth is…they don’t. When you’re brand new to cooking from scratch, work on roasting vegetables; rather, than cooking one vegetable a variety of ways. You can roast brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, turnips, beets, and more.
3. Picky Eaters
Maybe your child (or you) is older and you’re working backwards to remove well known food from their diet, you might already feel defeated. Know that a person needs to try something seven times before forming a food opinion. Focus more on the meal and offering of food than the possible battle. Try serving meals ala carte where they dish up the various sides (like taco salad: chopped tomatoes, lettuce and avocados.)
The second practical hope is in lieu of Grace Table’s anniversary month, I want to gift one person 1-hour long food/cooking consultation via Skype with me to work with you on your menu planning, tips, shortcuts, etc. In our hour, you will walk away as a more confident cook in the kitchen so mealtime can be about the relationships.
You will receive:
- Learn how to substitute common ingredients for allergen free ones
- Using more than salt to flavor a dish
- Instilling a practice of grace & prayer in your cooking life
- Cook tried and true recipes for successful meals
- How to make nutritious, easy meals
My heart aches when I hear women lament in the difficulty making it to the kitchen. When they lack any joy or feel aimless in their kitchen. If you are one of these women, write in the comments below at a chance to win the 1-hour Skype food/cooking consultation. You will become a confident cook in your kitchen and see the value in the blessing of cooking for those you love.