Rules for Intrepid Living: Rule #22

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Rule #22. Cooking can be a craft, not a chore.

You probably eat every day. I know that I certainly do. That means that you probably cook pretty often, right? At least a few times a week, though hopefully more. It’s easy to think of this like a chore; you come home from work tired, and now you need to prep dinner for yourself and maybe others. Then you’ll have to clean it up. Wouldn’t it just be easier to order a pizza or grab some takeout? Of course it would, and that’s fine every now and then, but you can’t live by delivery alone. Luckily, cooking doesn’t have to be a chore, it can also be a craft. An experiment. An adventure.

There is a reason why it’s called culinary art.

Because food is awesome, and cooking food well is a wonderful experience. Eating a delicious meal that you prepared yourself is as good as it comes. To break out of the cycle of being bored with cooking and eating boring food, you need to change your view of cooking.

How do I go from a task-oriented view of cooking to an art-oriented view?

We’re not all professional chefs, and that’s okay. We are all eaters, however, so that’s the place to start. What do you love to eat? What’s your favorite food? What’s something that you’ve always wanted to try?

I love pizza, so you know what I did recently?

Cast iron skillet pizza
That’s right, I made a pizza!

Clarissa and I wanted to try ratatouille after we watched an animated rat make it, so do you know what we did?

Cast iron skillet ratatouille
That’s right, we made ratatouille!

I’ve always enjoyed cooking for time to time, and I’ve always been pretty decent at it. My good friend Mikey gave me a cast iron skillet for Christmas a few years back, and it was a real game changer for me. I started experimenting more, trying to make new things with it, using it different ways…

That’s the secret, just make stuff, try things, don’t be afraid to experiment. Sometimes it will be okay. Other times is will be delicious. Sometimes it may be terrible, but you can always get takeout on those nights. The more stuff you make, the better it will get. The more things you try, the more you can experiment with tasty results. Eventually you’ll just throw some stuff together to see what happens and realize, “Wait a minute, I can cook… And it’s fun!”

There are still going to be days when you just don’t want to deal with it. Sometimes you’re still going to call and have that pizza delivered. Occasionally you may set off smoke alarms and swear that you’ll never cook again. But you will, because now you know the secret; cooking can be a craft instead of a chore.

“Rules for Intrepid Living” is an ongoing weekly article that gives potential guidelines for how we can all live a bit more of an intrepid life.

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