Today’s tip starts with this adage: “Know Thyself.” Okay you may be saying to yourself, “Huh? What does that have to do with my kitchen?” Well, I’m here to tell you… everything. When I get in a cycle of crazy busy-ness and schedule crunch, the physical place it manifests for me is in my kitchen: dishes pile up, receipts are on top of measuring cups, coats are covering up the tub of cream cheese that was forgotten from yesterday morning (YUCK!)… and that’s not a place I would feel inspired or at peace to create and enjoy my time. Instead, I begin to avoid it like the plague, opting for a Youtube video or book in bed to spend my downtime instead of getting in the kitchen. This is why I want you to know you – what are the triggers that not only make you enjoy being in the kitchen, but also feel inspired to put in energy and time in cooking. That’s why: It’s In The Atmosphere.
Sadly I don’t know all of you well enough to know for sure what your triggers are to either stay out of or stay in the kitchen, so instead of listing every possibility (while I do love making lists, the post might become touch long 🙂 ), I want to share with you my particular quirks. As I mentioned, a messy kitchen that has clutter counters with items that don’t belong is my #1 discourager… as you can see in the picture below, taken after a particularly busy season of work and family:
Again, yuck! Who would want to deal with that mess, much less deal with it and then start cooking? Not me… But just a minimal amount of effort that kitchen transformed into this one (honest, these pictures were taken the same day, just with different cameras):
A place I want to bake cookies, invent delicious crockpot dinners, and just be… All. The. Time. So why do I want to be there all the time? Well, for starters I love flowers, especially inside where they can spread their scent and remind me not to leave my junk on the counter that would get in the way of enjoying their brief floral loveliness. Second, I have one of my favorite cookbooks, The Smitten Kitchen, open on my cookbook stand, inviting me to make some yummy pasta. Also, I have pictures of my nieces right next to my least favorite area (the sink… dirty dishes chase me in my dreams), so instead of focusing on what I dislike about doing dishes, I can look at those sweet faces and smile. Finally, what you can’t see is the jazz music playing nearby. Music is the ultimate soother for me… It not only calms me, but gives me endurance.
Approach your time cooking in the kitchen like you would a workout in the gym. What motivates you? What soothes you? Make sure those things are nearby, whether it’s pictures, music, flowers, a particular scent (think simmer pots!), your favorite apron, or a nice cup of tea or coffee (you really ought to try out bulletproof coffee)… Figure out what motivates you and gives you a sense of peace in the kitchen, as they will help see you through creating those cookies or that soufflé.
So hop to! Take 5 minutes to think through what would bring you joy in your kitchen (keep it simple!), and then take 15 minutes to make it happen!