Day 28: On cooking

The other night, I had an amazing dinner prepared by people who truly love the process of cooking. While I love watching other people cook (which is why the Food Network appeals to me so much), there’s something amazing about sitting at a counter while food is being prepared, watching people who truly enjoy themselves in the kitchen, preparing a meal that will eventually leave you so full you’ll be grateful for the stretch in your jeans.

When I spoke about cooking, I said as I always do, “I’m not a cook, I bake.”

I make a lot of self-deprecating comments in general about my cooking abilities and how I dislike it but I guess that’s not entirely true.

If I had all the time in the world (or, y’know, a free hour or so) to prepare a meal without twenty other things vying for my attention? I think I’d enjoy it more. Coming home after a long day of work when my children are already hungry and trying to get a meal on the table before hungry turns to “hangry” is less fun. I feel I’m on a race to beat the clock in order to feed the girls (and me!) before tempers flare.

Kind of sucks the joy out of it all, if you must know.

It’s part of the reason I started the Kitchen Through the Lens project in the first place. What I have been finding is that it’s not that I hate cooking, or even that I’m bad at it (quite the contrary, I have made some stuff that I’ve been pretty darn pleased with), it’s that I just want to slow down. I want to cook with enough natural light streaming in my windows that I can take pictures of the food if I want to.


Those were taken with my phone in a kitchen at night before being sauteed with olive oil, leeks and garlic. It was amazing. And how beautiful, right? I want to buy all of the vegetables and take all of the pictures. And then let someone who loves to cook make magic out of them.


I want to feel confident enough in the way that I cook that I move around my kitchen with ease and am not so flustered with the details of the processs that I couldn’t enjoy company sitting with me as I cooked.

I’m not there yet.

I grew up in a house of hurried meals thrown together at the end of the day – well, that is until I got old enough to cook. Then I grew up getting dinner started for my mom to finish throwing something together at the end of the day. Or then I started making dinners to have ready when she got home (never anything fancy, always gross boxed meals – I’m probably still full of preservatives from those years). I certainly had no example of my mom enjoying the process.

Will I ever be a good cook who truly enjoys it? I have no idea. I’m hoping, as the year (and this project) goes on, though, that I gather more confidence and less reluctance to flex my skills in the kitchen.

We’ll see if it happens.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Oh, how I can identify with “throw things together at the end of the day”…

  2. I don’t know that I am a good cook. BUT I love the process … Come sit at our counter with a glass of wine and I will cook for you.

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