3.01.2012

the dirty truth.


I've got a confession that might surprise you:

I hate cooking.

And I mean serious deep-down, nasty, don't-wanna-do-it hate. This never ceases to surprise people, as there's a general assumption that creative girls love whipping up a feast in the kitchen. Not this girl.

When I dropped sixty-five pounds, I largely attributed it to keeping my cupboards barebones. Without getting too emotionally hefty today, its not fresh news around here that I've struggled with mental health issues, like weight obsession and an eating disorder. Having full cupboards always feels scary + out of control to me. But last year I worked extensively with a therapist and dietitian to better control or at least quiet those issues. They'll always be there, but they're much quieter now.

That's been my biggest hurdle in cooking--just that scary emotional barrier. But, on a lighter note...the mess. The dishes. And I just have no clue what I'm doing with a whisk in my hand! All this means I've lived off a diet of oatmeal, frozen meals and take out (in equal portions) for the past few years.

But I'm to the point where I want to learn. Gabe is an incredible cook who once made Thanksgiving for 40 guests in Japan. That's what I'm up against here. He loves cooking, never complains about being the chef our relationship. But I want to be a better teammate...which means being a bit more comfortable behind the stove.

Last night I rustled up a stack of old Real Simple magazines, snipped some promising recipes and made my shopping list. Tonight's the night I force myself to begin experimenting in the kitchen.

But first...off to purchase a cute apron. That's of the utmost importance, yes? :)

18 comments:

  1. Uhh yes! Aprons are beyond pretty and they make you feel prettier in the kitchen. Good luck with cooking! It isn't as bad once you get into it.

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  2. I agree with you, I think people also assume that us crafty girls love the kitchen. No thank you.
    I won't lie, I love to do cupcakes or cookies every once in awhile. Maybe a dinner a couple times a month, but every night? YUCK!
    I told my (now) husband after knowing him for like 2 weeks that I did NOT cook, that cooking wasn't my thing, and it was actually a part of the downfall between me and my ex.
    Of course, with my ex, it wasn't that he thought since I was crafty I should cook, but because I was a woman, HA!
    So my husband does most of the cooking and is fantastic at it!
    I think it's awesome that you're giving it a try! :)
    Good luck apron shopping! ;)

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  3. Good luck, Bethany! I've never been a good cook - I can't make a decent dinner to save my life. But I really ant to learn. Unfortunately, a college dorm is not the ideal location for learning to cook.
    I can't wait to hear about the recipes you try!!
    <3 Kiersten

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  4. cute apron: yes! that's important because if it helps you to be in the kitchen lookin' cute, you might as well! :) I think it's wonderful that you are challenging yourself with a task like this, your meal is going to turn out beautifully :) have fun!

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  5. A cute apron is definitely in order. I love to cook and bake. I learned at a very young age but what you have to do is use a recipe!! Just like how you use a pattern for sewing or instructions for crafts. Following the recipies is pretty simple so once you get over your mental hurdles you'll do great! And then once you get the basics down pat you can start to experiment! I think people associate crafty people with people who can cook because they are very similar in nature. Good luck! I know you will do great!

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  6. I feel the same way! To me, baking is fun, cooking is stressful. I can make a gorgeous layer cake, but cannot for the life of me get eggs or pancakes to turn out correctly.

    For those in a similar boat, I did find some help in a cookbook called, "Help, My Apartment Has a Kitchen" by Kevin Mills and Nancy Mills. Has everything from the basics (grilled cheese, baked potato, etc.) to some recipes that you can show off for friends - plus directions and tips straight from the author's mom!

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  7. While I do love cooking, I have found that some of the easiest recipes that we like in our house have come from Everyday Food magazine. The ingredients are simple, directions short, and usually decently healthy or I can find a way to make it that way. Good luck in your new creative endeavor. I know the apron will help.

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  8. Don't worry about Gabe being the cook in the family. My wife is a horrible cook. She is so afraid of food poisoning that she overcooks meat to the level of shoe leather.

    I, on the other hand, love to cook. When I have the time, there is nothing I love more then sitting with a recipe and a bunch of spices making a new creation.

    As for clean up. Do it as you go along. When you are done with a mixing bowl, rinse it out and put it in the dishwasher. Absent that appliance, wash as the food is cooking.

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  9. First off, I would like to defend my sister-in-law... she is an excellent cook, as long as you don't want to eat steak ;)

    Secondly, I HHAAATTTTEEEEDDDD cooking, but when I moved in with JEGs, I had to learn. I started off with super easy recipes like honey mustard chicken and parmesan chicken (sensing a theme here?) and worked my way up to harder recipes.

    One step at a time, my dear ;)
    LB

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  10. an apron puts me in the zone! i am ready to conquer the kitchen once mine is on!

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  11. Ooh, I actually love cooking! I used to feel kind of "blah" about it, but now I loveee whipping up new recipes and *attempting* to create my own masterpieces!

    Check out Williams Sonoma for some cute aprons! They have plenty of colorful options that are really durable :)

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  12. I totally get where you're coming from and struggling with the same issues, I learned the same thing about keeping the cupboards bare years ago.

    When I got married last year, I began to panic when I realized I couldn't cook a thing!! My husband and I are also on a pretty strict budget which makes me not want to spend an excessive amount on food.

    Last fall, Jon (my husband) and I stumbled across this really incredible thing caled e-mealz.com. Basically each week you get one shopping list and you go grocery shopping one time. The rest of the week they have full recipes completely laid out in the most bulletproof form and you already have the ingredients from shopping earlier that week!!

    It really helped me overcome a lot of my fear of cooking and it helped with portion control along with the food budget! I would highly recommend it! :)
    Cheers,
    Sara

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  13. My Mom was a fantastic, adventurous cook so I didn't need to learn until I had my own kids, I grew into it. The Martha Stewart Everyday Food monthly magazine was the best investment I've made towards embracing the kitchen, the photos make my stomach growl (seriously, I can't look at it until I have a full tummy). Can't wait to hear how it goes for you, and see that apron!

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  14. I don't like to cook either! Mostly it's just because I have no patience to prepare a meal and wait for it to cook!

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  15. good luck ! I love cooking and love to eat my food especially ... one thing i love making right now is thai food ... so tasty and freakin healthy xx

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  16. You're adorable--I can picture you in your new apron.

    I also married quite the adventurous chef...such a bonus! ;)

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  17. I love your blog so much and get shockingly excited when there's a new post.

    I moved to Los Angeles in May and have been having a really hard time adjusting to everything. Your blog reminds me that I have a goal to make my life as pretty as I can, even on the days where I'm left in bed.

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  18. Oh gosh, yes, a cute apron is an absolute must! In fact, one for each day of the week so they can be washed.

    Rather than learning to cook (or learning to love it), why don't you become killer at kitchen prep? You can be the master at chopping, measuring, weighing etc and Gabe can still do the actual cooking.

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