How many hours in our lifetime do you figure are lost thanks to the chore of cooking???

Everyone, I’ve had an epiphany this evening, I’ve always hated cooking, even though everybody who has ever eaten any of my meals has quite enjoyed them, and accuses me of lying about my disdain for the art of cooking.  Today while I stood at the kitchen sink, breaking into a hot flash sweat, it dawned on me.  I don’t hate cooking, I despise all that happens before, and after the cooking bit.

I realized that the cooking portion actually makes me quite happy.  What I don’t like is all the work that goes into preparing the meal; going to the market, bringing all my provisions home, sorting them, washing them, bagging them, putting it all away.  Then, after all the time devoted to that, the decision as to what dish to make.  Go back to the cupboards, and the fridge, pull out the necessary items required for the meal, chop, dice.  Then it’s time to get the pots, pans, oils, everything on the stove, up and running.  Veggies in this, protein in that, homemade salad dressing being whipped up in a bowl.  Wash prep dishes, stir this, flip that.

Set the table.  Serve the food.

My favorite part of all of it; sitting with family, loved ones, chatting and catching up about our days.  I usually hang out at the end of the meal longer than necessary.  1) because it was my favorite time of the day, hearing about what our girls had gotten up to and 2)  trying my damnedest to delay the inevitable.  Dinner clean up.   When the girls lived at home, each had a role to play.  This one set, that one cleared, the other washed the dishes.  But now that I’m on my own, every single step along the way to meal time falls squarely on my shoulders, and not only is it boring, but it is also lonely.  I miss the activity of having the girls around the kitchen doing homework, listening to music, and chatting among themselves.  Now it’s just me, three begging dogs, and a mound of dishes at the end of it all.

All these years I thought I disliked cooking, but that’s not it at all.  What I truly dislike, are all the hours spent AROUND cooking that I’ll never, ever, get back.  I mean think about it, the hours driving to the market, going through the market gathering all the groceries, driving home, putting it all away, then the cooking, the cleaning up…if we had to guess how many hours of our lives we spend doing “the cooking thing” how many would you figure?  Today alone I spent four hours in the kitchen, just over dinner…and this is only ONE DAY, and ONE MEAL.

No wonder incredibly wealthy people have personal chefs.  I always thought it was indulgent, excessive and not at all necessary.  But now I’m not so sure it’s that wild, or an out there way to spend one’s money.  I’ve never thought of it this way, but think of all the money I could be earning if I wasn’t spending countless hours just feeding us…I’ve tried various food delivery services, and after a while they get boring.  You see I’m a foodie, I love food, and I don’t want to eat the same half a dozen things in rotation.  I know there are plenty of people who live this way, but I’m not that girl.  I love flavor, options, and variety.  Something none of the food delivery companies I’ve encountered have.  I would love nothing more than to have somebody who knows how to make flavorful, healthy foods make the meals for me, so that I could spend that time writing.  Also think about how easy it would be to navigate, and entirely escape the weight gain of menopause with a personal chef.  Someone with the knowledge to prepare meals that are nutritionally balanced, and delicious!?! I wonder how much personal chefs cost??  And is having one a wise way to spend money, or not???

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…

5 Comments

  1. For me the cleaning up is the worst since I don’t have a dishwasher. This year I had 4 different meals for family and friends, I must say I am fairly well organized and wash many things as I prepare, but they took a good 6 hours out of my life. Hmmm chef well maybe for special occasions…

  2. I too have a love-hate relationship with cooking. I don’t mind food shopping. It satisfies my need to spend money. LOL! Now, I’m not creative, I’m a recipe chef per se. Give me a recipe and I can make it. I have loads of cookbooks and use them often because I too like variety but don’t have a creative bone in my body when it comes to this, so whipping up something is not in my wheelhouse. Now on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am the family chef and now that my nephew is my sous chef, we are experimenting with all kinds of brines, vege dishes and desserts. He seems to have a knack for it. It’s wonderful to have help, especially at Thanksgiving. Christmas is traditional Italian, so I’m versed in it and my family loves what I prepare and requests almost the same thing every year; tradition really. (and, by the way, I make the BEST sauce in the world!!). My Partner on the other hand IS creative, and now that she’s retired (early I might add), you’d think I wouldn’t have to cook dinner after a 12-14 hour day. But, that’s not always the case, especially if its golf season. I’ll pull out leftovers and microwave them since I don’t want to eat at 9:00 PM then go to bed, because my wake up time is 4:00 AM. When that happens, I don’t sleep, just toss and turn all night.

    Admittedly, the last thing I want to do is cook after a 12-14 hour day, but I need the protein so I don’t have a choice. So a protein and a vege are the go-to on a work night.

    I would love nothing better than to have a chef that would prepare me dinner, one that is good and healthy for me. But, with finances the way they are, that ain’t happening!

    I spend 1-2 hours a night if I making something from scratch or a 1/2 hr or less if I’m zapping something in the microwave. Thanksgiving is a 2 day process. Day 1 – 9 pies, turkey prep and brine. Total time 9 hours. Day 2 – meal prep, cook, set up, serve and clean up 12+/- hours. Weekends are 6+/- hours a day, for 2 meals, when I can use my cookbooks or my partner does her magic.

    So, I’m with you, if you can afford a chef, by all means get one! I would if I could.

  3. I know you have a beautiful heart for the plight of others, so hope you do not get snarky comments about being “privileged”. If Murdoch’s deep pockets and your earnings will allow it, why not outsource and provide a job for someone?

  4. I hate the process of even figuring out what I could possibly cook. I have one lactose intolerant, one gluten allergy, and two with gerd! All of that can cut flavor significantly. Then there is cutting down red meat, substitute bison, turkey is better than chicken and fish but no bottom feeders! No matter what I do with shrimp, my husband says ‘what’s next’ because shrimp is an appetizer! Many years ago I loved cooking but not lately. Dinner is just something I have to do about four days a week. The good news is it’s an easy diet for a weight conscious woman.

  5. I couldn’t agree more. Cooking is like painting a room. It’s all the prep that makes the job miserable, the actual painting is very satisfying and for me quite peaceful. Then come the clean up. Maybe what you need instead of a personal chef is a personal shopper, chopper-upper, and cleaner upper. Then you could concentrate you time and talent on the actual cooking and enjoying your meals. Just a thought.
    Rolayne

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