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Skurvey
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20 Sep 2014, 6:32 pm

I was just wondering how others out there deal with cooking for themselves (and family). I have to cook but don't like it and find the multitasking of cooking to be overwhelming, to the point where when I have finished cooking a meal I have to take some time out to calm down before eating. If just making something for myself I tend to just make sandwiches. I'm OK with putting something in the oven until the buzzer goes off. I'm good at breakfasts, but get stuck into making the same thing everyday, even though I've got a large range of breaky dishes. I don't get into the 'foodie' thing at all - eating is purely a thing you have to do so you don't starve.

What's the experiences of others out there in WP.


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LokiofSassgard
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20 Sep 2014, 6:59 pm

I can't cook at all unless you count the microwave. D:


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Jayo
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20 Sep 2014, 7:01 pm

I actually enjoy culinary activity, but I hear you about the multitasking impediment...my brain wasn't designed for multitasking as is the case with 90-something percent of us aspies here :D

So I had to repeat certain recipes a few times, before I got into a routine and got the hang of it. I really like making Italian recipes, anything that involves pollo (chicken) and has a zesty taste to it...I've made all kinds of great stuff, but if I ever tried to work as a chef in a restaurant (and I did, many years ago), I'd soon find myself out the door (which I did). I can imagine that chef Gordon Ramsey would have a field day screaming in my face. 8O



Oren
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20 Sep 2014, 7:02 pm

I don't cook much. We eat out, and if I am alone, I eat foods that are already prepared.


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OliveOilMom
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20 Sep 2014, 7:05 pm

I'm a housewife who cooks almost every day. I don't particularly enjoy cooking, but I do like it when my family enjoys what I've made. Lots of times I just don't want to cook, but I do it anyway. It's got to get done and won't do itself, and unless one of my daughters wants to cook that night instead of me, then it's usually my job. My husband likes to cook sometimes, so I let him make dinner occasionally and my oldest daughter is going to culinary school and wants to be a pastry chef, but right now she's just learning regular chef stuff, and she loves cooking for the family, so she cooks sometimes.

However, I'm one of those ladies who usually cooks a big meal, and all from scratch. Usually for supper I'll have a meat, a starch, one or two vegetables, a bread (homemade - rolls, loaf bread, cornbread, biscuits, egg bread, etc) a dessert, and usually a type of salad or some kind of crudites. And sweet tea. So, I have a lot to fix for just one meal, and it's usually about two hours or so of work beforehand. I do keep dishwater ran during it and wash up as I go along because I hate cleaning up a big mess at the end. Sometimes, especially in the summer when everything is in season, I'll cook a much bigger meal with lots of vegetables. When I do that, my oldest daughter usually comes and helps out with it because she has some favorites that she cooks too. A vegetable supper is usually pretty big, and it's always something like either hamburger steak or fried salmon patties for the meat and then green beans or some kind of peas or beans, squash cooked several ways - fried in oil and flour, fried plain with onions in butter, in a casserole with cheese, fried and boiled okra, greens - either turnip, collards, mustards or poke, fried potatoes and onions with flour on them, fried tomatoes, green onions, sliced tomatoes, maybe zuchinni or flat squash if it's available, asparagus in the oven, real macaroni and cheese, and of course, sweet cornbread. Where I'm from, eating vegetables isn't as healthy as it sounds because they are either boiled for hours in water with fatback or battered or dipped in flour and fried in oil or butter or bacon grease. However, it's really, really good that way. Much better than the half cooked, almost crispy, tasteless, steamed vegetables that my Yankee MIL used to make.

I also make sure I have some things on hand that are quick and easy to cook for nights when I just don't feel like cooking. I keep stuff like a big frozen Stouffer's thing, or some of those box dinners with everything included that you just put in the oven, or hamburger helper, or stuff like that. I don't use that stuff too often, but it's good to have on hand when I'm too tired to make the usual supper. I also only do big breakfasts on the weekends now. When the kids were little I used to make them every day, but now it's only on weekends, and I only do a really big breakfast that I like so much about once a month. That one has boiled dried apples drained and fried in ham grease, fried ham, scrambled eggs with cheese, grits, bacon (to go with the grits even though there is ham), sweet milk gravy, ham gravy, biscuits, cantaloupe, and a sliced tomato with mayo on it. Usually on weekends I just make eggs, grits, bacon or sausage, and biscuits and everybody can make do with that. I never really make a big lunch unless it's a special occasion or a Sunday and then I cook a big dinner. (Dinner is the noon meal when it's more than just a sandwich or a burger, supper is the night meal).

So, thats how I do it. It's really just another chore to me, like laundry and mopping.


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Dantac
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20 Sep 2014, 7:38 pm

I love to cook and although im a wreck at multitasking... I can do it for cooking.

Because its not multitasking in the sense of doing multiple things at once.. you do one thing, set the timer, move to the next, set the timer, etc.

mental or real timer that is.



qFox
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20 Sep 2014, 7:52 pm

I'm just a student but I love cooking!

If you have difficulties with the multi-tasking in cooking I can tell you that there are plenty of people who share those issues, and it's not something you can't overcome with experience. There are two things that I can advice you to do.

First one is to appreciate your own cooking and keep trying new things. There are plenty of delicious and healthy recipes that are very easy to do and do not require any multi-tasking at all. To become good at cooking you must first start to love your own cooking, define your own taste and keep trying new avenues. I am a very picky eater and barely ate vegetables as a child, learning to cook made made me appreciate healthy food as I could turn some vegetables I hated into something I would totally eat.

Secondly, choose the right recipe for you. For people with multi-tasking issues I recommend you to choose recipes that are heavy on preparation but light on the actual cooking. This means that you can do preparation at your own pace without having to worry about multi-tasking at all. The cooking of such recipes usually only involves handling an oven or a single pan. You can also start off with something simple like a recipe with rice or pasta. Rice or pasta recipes usually only involve 2 pans and no multi-tasking pressure: you can just let the sauce pan simmer for a very long time and cook the rice/pasta on the side once your sauce is ready.



Claradoon
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20 Sep 2014, 9:59 pm

I'm a total failure at cooking, although I can assemble things, like spaghetti or salad. Sometimes I manage to make muffins. If I make the same simple thing every day, I'll do it well, but nobody will want to eat it every day.



ZombieBrideXD
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20 Sep 2014, 10:42 pm

Microwave and frozen foods are my friends.


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dianthus
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20 Sep 2014, 11:25 pm

I like to cook, but I have to be in the right frame of mind for it. And I can only cook things that I like to eat, which are not many, so my skills are pretty limited. But the few things I can cook, I can do very well.

The biggest problem I have is that although I like eating the same things over and over, I get really bored cooking the same things over and over. But I would rather cook for myself so I have control over what ingredients go in, and make it to my own tastes. Sometimes it just gets a little tedious to make things the way I like them. I mean for instance, getting the seeds out of tomatoes, OMG what a nuisance. But sometimes the seeds can make me gag, or likewise if I use canned pasta sauce, those little pieces of onion or whatever in the sauce can make me gag. So making my own pasta means I can avoid those things. That's what motivates me to cook for myself, my pickiness and my sensory issues.

If I cook something that involves a lot of different steps, or multi-tasking, I have to think through it before I start and I try to just do all the prep work I can before I actually start cooking anything. Nothing stresses me out more than trying to do prep work on one thing while I have something else already cooking on the stove. If I can get everything prepped first and THEN start cooking, it goes a lot easier.

I don't like to eat a lot of different things at once. I like simple foods. And when I cook for family, they are the same way. So I never make really big meals with lots of different side items or anything complicated. I just try to pick things that are easy to cook together. Like if I cook chicken in the oven, I may put in a pan of sliced potatoes to bake alongside it, and it takes about the same amount of time to cook and I can set a timer for going back at intervals to turn the food. But I'm happy just eating chicken by itself if I don't feel like cooking something to go with it.

Some things you just have to do one at a time, so you can give it your full attention. Like scrambled eggs...I have never seen anyone, outside of a restaurant, really be able to cook eggs properly at the same time they are doing something else. And eggs will get cold faster than anything else, so you just save them for last, that way they are still hot when you serve the food.

I think pancakes are especially tricky, I have never gotten the hang of doing those at the same time I'm cooking something else. To me, breads, biscuits, pastries, cakes, etc. are the hardest things to get right, and they don't sit well in my gut anyway, so I usually just don't bother with those kinds of foods.



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21 Sep 2014, 12:00 am

I cook professionally, which counter-intuitively, means that I cook a lot less often at home than I used to, simply because I don't want to after a whole day of cooking at work. I do generally enjoy it though, and really got into it because of my own peculiar tastes, and being able to tailor things to how I like them is a big deal to me.


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jk1
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21 Sep 2014, 5:38 am

I don?t have three proper meals every day because I can?t be bothered to prepare them. As I live alone and don?t have to worry about anyone?s meals, I just eat whatever I like whenever I like. I tend to choose something easy. I mostly cut fruits and veggies as they are easy and healthy and not oily. I use the canned four or five bean mix, too. I seldom cook meat as meat is yucky. I don?t heat oil because it makes a mess. I only use oil after I have heated some veggies in the microwave. I sometimes even use baking paper for microwaving veggies as I don?t want to have to wash the bowl/plate later. As I don't multitask, I'm not efficient.

I do love baking pastry (cookies, pies etc) when I have time but I don?t think it?s relevant here.



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21 Sep 2014, 6:01 am

I like to cook I use my slow cooker, and I often make a vegetable soup.
Even though I live on my own I like cooking my own meals sometimes I make things to put in the freezer like pasties.
I've always liked cooking and I started to cook meals when I was still living at home.



frodz
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21 Sep 2014, 7:11 am

I like cooking and have been told I'm good at it, but I get absorbed in the preparation and have multitasking stress so it takes a long time to do and recover afterwards. As a result I mostly cook the same simple things over and over. I have no issues cooking the same thing day after day.


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21 Sep 2014, 7:28 am

I like cooking but it is a chore, the mess is off putting, I wash as I go too. I like to spend whole days cooking something special/weeks dinners, but i appreciate under 20 minute meals... readymade tortellini, pinch of salt& pepper, a dollop of crème fraiche/pesto, chopped ham/protein, frozen peas/fresh spinach, yum. If I?m trying a new dish I arrange the prepared ingredients in order, note a time plan on a post it and use a digital timer, then I can focus on the method.
Stuff that reduces related cooking tasks, kitchen tissue, sterilising fluid, tin/aluminum foil& grease proof paper as liners for your bake wear, disposable gloves for raw meat, use fresh baby vegetables where possible-minimal chopping/peeling, plan to cook your ingredients in one pot/casserole, readymade pastry, microwave...