I opened the refrigerator, looked back at the stove, then up at the clock, and then down to my grandson. Sigh. Inspiration for cooking left last year. Like a lot of gals, cooking, planning, and shopping for 3 meals a day, seven days a week finally takes its toll after 28 years. That’s 28,224 meals, but who’s counting.
I can’t be the only gal in Pipestone County who is frantically searching the refrigerator at 5 pm trying to come up with supper! I have exactly 30 minutes to whip something up, ready to eat, or someone very small is going to make my life an episode of “Hell’s Kitchen”.
Praying silently, I madly search through my refrigerator. I stumble upon a thawing 1 lb package of hamburger. YES! Now down into the veggie drawer for some carrots. YES!
Supper in a pot
Supper was well on its way. I threw the hamburger into a pot, began breaking it up and fry it. Scooping up the grandbaby we walked into the pantry and dug out some potatoes.
I dislike to prep or cook with a baby on my hip, so I convince him he would like to eat cheese and watch from his highchair. He loves cheese, so my bribery worked well.
Grabbing the potatoes, I gave them a quick wash and then off to the cutting board to be cut into cute quarters. A sizzling sound from the pot reminds me that I have to pay attention to my hamburger, so I dash over and peer in. Better stir that Michele! Then I quickly add some salt and pepper.
This is mission control
Feeling rather sassy about my quick supper pull together, I decided to do a “Grandma Happy Dance”, which for Dutch girls, amounts to a lot of hopping with a bit of clogging. It’s not pretty but it’s all this girl has. What is someone supposed to do when your ancestors wore wood clogs on their feet?
Back to my supper… Now that my hamburger is cooked, I pour in about 2 cups of water and add the cut up potatoes, along with 2 cups of baby carrots and a handful of chopped onion. I do a spin and put the lid on the pot, setting the timer to simmer for 20 minutes.
Turning around I find my grandson has finished his cheese and has an expectant look of “what’s next Grammers?”. Once again I turn to the refrigerator and pull out some yogurt and canned pears. He is teething and would love something cold and delicious. I mash the pears into the yogurt and we begin.
T minus 10 minutes and counting
In between finishing the pear yogurt concoction, I check the pot to make sure there is enough water to continue cooking the potatoes and carrots. I tell myself I have to find some sort of inspiration, and organization to my future cooking.
It’s not that I don’t like cooking, it’s just I am cooked out. I don’t know how else to explain it. I need a cooking revival of some sort, but how? After chatting with friends and looking for internet cooking inspiration I ran into an article by Joshua Becker called “A Simple Guide to Enjoy Cooking“.
Joshua is a minimalist. If you are unfamiliar with “minimalism” it’s a practice of living on less. Being content with what you have, and focusing on being purposed and peaceful- mindfulness.
All that to say, in his quest for a minimalist life he found that his mindfulness has led him to be purposed in his cooking for his family. Along the way Joshua has some suggestions for how to build enjoyment in cooking:
- Keep your kitchen counters clutter-free. Opportunity and possibility are encouraged in a clutter-free environment.
- Cook healthy foods
- Use fresh ingredients- this gives your recipe a dramatically different taste.
- Purchase a good sharp knife and learn how to properly use it
- Prepare meals that interest you, be willing to step out of your comfort zone and try new things
- Be confident
- Put value in how you present your food creations
- Put an emphasis on eating together and appreciating the time spent, as well as the clean-up afterward
- Record your recipes
Attitude is everything
I’ve come to realize that cooking isn’t a chore, it’s a blessing. I am blessed to have food to cook. It’s easy to keep in the same mundane rut. I need to step out of my “rural farm cooking” mode and explore other cooking avenues.
As I look out over his recommendations, the “Put a value in how you present…” comes to the forefront. Though the presentation creates more dishes to wash, it is very lovely to look at and makes me feel special when I do make the extra effort.
Being confident is another great suggestion that certainly partners with trying new recipes from different cultures. The internet is full of simple recipes from different cultures. Your just a click away from something really yummy! What will you try different to “spice” things up with your cooking?
As always, here it to good food, good friends, and a wonderfully good and free life.