Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cooking Baby Steps

One of my general financial goals for 2012 was to reduce the amount of eating out and ordering in that I do.  Clearly eating out and ordering in is more expensive than eating at home or bringing my lunch.  Also, eating out during the work week cuts into my productive work time.  And finally, eating out and ordering in normally means that I am eating more calories than I would like.

Although we have reduced our eating out, overall I have not been particularly successful on this goal.  I have a variety of excuses.  First and most importantly, I really do not like to cook.  Second, I hate the grocery store.  Third, I work a lot and by the time I get home I want to relax not cook dinner and certainly not prep lunch for the next day.

But, recently I made an effort to improve my cooking skills by attending a healthy cooking class.  A few things that I figured out from this class.  First, we need to invest in a few better pots and pans and a few better quality knives.  We also probably need a new set of measuring spoons.  Second, I need to reorganize the kitchen.  Our kitchen is not particularly large and doesn't really have a whole lot of storage (not surprising since we live in a 1920s home).  But, taking a look at what I do have in my kitchen, I noticed that a lot of the space is dedicated to antique glassware, cocktail serving dishes, vases, large serving dishes, our fine china, etc.  While I don't like to cook, I do like to party so I have lots of fun party/serving/cocktail supplies.  I need to work on getting the special occasion things out of the way and organizing the kitchen so that more of the space is dedicated to cooking tools.

So, I'm going to work on getting our kitchen better organized and I'm going to do some cooking equipment shopping this holiday season.  I'll let you know how I do.


Anonymous said...

I do most all the cooking, although I am starting to get a little tired of it and trying to cook so we get more than one night out of a meal. I have found it a good transition when I get home from work. A chance to be creative and relax at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I love to cook but also hated it at first. We used to eat out a lot and I had no confidence in my cooking skills. A few suggestions based on my experiences: 1. Get an empty spiral-bound lay-flat book to write down recipes (or whatever media you like best - could be an iPad). Whenever you make something that was successful - write the recipe down. 2. Like you said, don't scrimp on tools - it makes each job easier. Besides pans & knives, also get and learn to use a food processor, and other kitchen labor-saving devices. 3. Get one cookbook in the cooking style you like best (American, Italian, whatever) and make a few recipes from it. 4. Give It Time. It honestly took me years to really appreciate cooking. Now I love it and actually cook more on stressful work days to relieve the stress!