When does cooking become fun?

Apr 17, 2019 | Food and Culture

For a lot of people out there, likely a lot of people reading this, cooking isn’t fun. It’s something that has to be done, but isn’t enjoyed. But what if it was? What if you could step into your kitchen confident and relaxed and just cook? I mean cook because you enjoy it. Cook because you want to. Because it is fun. It’s not a crazy idea.

As humans it is rare that we enjoy doing things that we feel we have to do or things we feel we’re not good at. Unfortunately, cooking often falls into both those categories. But I’m here telling you that you can enjoy cooking. It doesn’t matter who you are or current skill level, you can enjoy it. So, what’s the secret? More importantly…

When Does Cooking Become Fun?

There are two kinds of people out there. People who enjoy the process and people who enjoy the results. What do I mean?

Learning to play the guitar.

When I was 16 I decided that I wanted to learn to play the guitar. I was handed an old beat-up guitar and a song book that showed how to form chords. I started practising. Eventually I learned a “C” chord and then a “G” and then a “D”. My fingers hurt, I would get frustrated that my hands wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do. Sometimes I would hate it and give up, but I always went back to it.

Even though there were parts of the learning process I hated, I enjoyed the fact that I was learning something. Every time I learned a new chord or got closer to playing a song it pushed me forward. It drove me to continue.

It’s been almost 20 years since I first started learning those basic chords. I will be the first to tell you that I am no great guitarist. However, I don’t need to be. I was never trying to be. I am able to draw a lot of joy out of what I can do and that’s all that ever mattered to me.

Because learning to play the guitar was something that I really wanted to do, I enjoyed the process of learning just as much as I enjoy being able to play. The fact of the matter is, I enjoyed learning because I was physically playing the guitar the whole time. It didn’t matter that it sounded terrible or that it was frustrating. I was playing.

Learning about food photography

A couple of years ago when I started growing my Instagram following I would just point my phone camera at my food take a picture and be done with it. I quickly realized that that just wasn’t enough. I had to learn about lighting, and staging photos, and composition, and photo editing. In all honesty, I hated every minute of it.

Truth be told I don’t really like taking pictures of food. I get no joy out of the process. Lighting photos, worrying about what’s in the background, blah. I don’t like thinking about composition and everything else. But I know that it is better for me to do all that stuff than to not do it.

Here’s the kicker to all this; I love the photos. Even though I don’t really enjoy the process of getting the photo, I love when I get it right. I love when the photo comes out perfect and the food looks amazing. The amount of joy I get out of that, actually makes all the other stuff worth it. It has actually made me start to enjoy that process.

The other part of all of this is that now I have learned enough about food photography that I can actually have a little fun with it. I’m am not expert, there’s loads more to learn. Really though, I know enough that I’m kind of over that hump. I can relax a little, think about things a little less, keep the outcome in mind since that is that part I really love.

So…when does cooking become fun?

The answer to that question comes down to the type of person you are. Are you the person who wants to cook and is going to enjoy the process of learning? Because if so, cooking becomes fun the moment you set your mind to learning more about it and actually doing it.

Are you the kind of person who likes eating good food but doesn’t like the process of making it? If you are this type of person, cooking becomes fun when you get to the point when you can make what you want, when you want, without thinking about the process and all the steps.

Really, it doesn’t matter what type of person you are. Cooking is the most fun when you know the fundamentals of it. Once you know the basic building blocks of a vinaigrette and can make an infinite number of vinaigrettes, it’s fun. When you know the basics of roasting meat and no longer how to worry about getting the oven temperature perfect or the exact amount of time it takes to cook, it’s fun. And, when you step into your kitchen without a recipe, have something in mind that you want to cook, and you just cook it exactly how you want, it is so much fun.

So, when does cooking become fun? That’s up to you. The more important point is that no matter who you are, it can become fun.



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