Between your job, household chores, and personal obligations, it isn’t always easy to motivate yourself to take an apron and get busy in the kitchen.
Here are four reasons why you should cook, and amaze your dinner guests.
1. Personal pleasure
To find the need to work in your kitchen, it’s necessary to picture the happiness and pleasure you’re getting out of it.
We like to think that by opening a can of stew, “that” (i.e. cooking) is something less to do today. Yet, it’s a serious mistake to think that way.
The brain actually likes to participate in simple tasks with a finite goal, like peeling veggies or cutting a piece of meat. How great is it to listen to the simmer of a fried dish you’ve prepared? It’s very rewarding to make something and serve it.
2. Sharing the love
Not only are you having fun, but you’re also sharing it.
If you have the opportunity to welcome family or some friends around your table, your efforts will be rewarded with their smiles when you’re serving a great appetizing dish.
If you want to fish for compliments, offer recipes that are out of the ordinary. Work from original ingredients, pick themed meals, or make visually compelling edibles.
Aim for friendly dishes you can share with a group, or work on plating your individual treats on their plate.
Surprise your guests while ensuring you respect their taste.
3. Looking for inspiration
“But where will I find all these ideas”, you ask? The sources for compelling recipes are almost endless. Cookbooks are the go-to references for many home cooks, but websites (including this very one) offer great options. Let yourself be carried away by the desire of the moment, and that of seasonal products.
Be guided by your own special set of skills (don’t start with a glazed duck if you’re struggling with basic dishes). Cooking shows, on TV or online, are also great ways to motivate yourself. Some preparations are detailed step-by-step, with the final result giving you an idea of presentation.
If you have the chance to go to the restaurant once in a while, take the opportunity to draw some ideas. Again, this isn’t to steal the recipe from a chef and trying to reproduce it. The goal is to mimic the fun you could have at the table of a restaurant, albeit at home.
4. Trying to surprise
Nothing is more exhilarating than mixing the pleasure felt by those who benefit from your kitchen skills, to that of offering a nice surprise. Some dishes, although simple, can still have their own effect depending on how they’re prepared or served. Try some intriguing pairings, like shrimp and kiwi, grapefruit and crab, or chicken and chocolate. They’ll be surprised, but assuming you picked a good recipe, they’ll be amazed as well.
Showcase unsung food and unusual alliances. Give them a taste for great food, homemade ingredients, and a little love. Ultimately, it’ll be better for their health, and sometimes cheaper too.