Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

What do you do when you don't feel inspired?


ambra
 Share

Recommended Posts

After days and days of family and eating and cooking New Year's Eve and Day are here. It's the only time I can cook whatever I want, without worrying about other people's likes or dislikes are worse, Traditions.

Yet.....

I've got nothing. I am not feeling inspired by anything, I'm not craving anything, I'd just assume not eat. (except to satisfy those pesky hunger pains, of course.) I'm bored of my usual suspects, bored of my cookbooks, bored of repertoire.....

so how do I get my inspiration back? Anybody else ever feel this way?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's usually when I try something new from a cuisine I don't usually cook. I've had house guests going on 2 weeks now and have run through most of my go-to recipes.

I was tired of cooking and tired of menu planning. For inspiration, I thought about all the things I like at asian restaurants and thought "I love pho but have never made it." I searched out a recipe and made it last night. It inspired me to look a little deeper into Viet cooking and I've got a few more recipes waiting in the wings.

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do a few things:

1. Think of a place you would like to go, but it is likely you will never get there. So cook something from there.

2. Play Iron Chef. Go to a market, either your supermarket, butcher or ethnic market, find something you have never used. buy it and find ways to cook it.

3. Do the opposite of 2. Think of, or better yet invite, someone with a dietary restriction. Then cook a meal fo that person.

If all else fails..... Take a rest; fast for a day; then cook the dishes you wished you could like eat after the fast. I should note, at the end, the fast goes slow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I take a look at what unfamiliar cultures do at the current time of year, especially in tropical and subtropical climates.

I look at the colours, the combinations of ingredients that recur frequently/seem unique to the cuisine; I annoy people in the forums here with my questions about this sort of thing.

I make a list of the ingredients that particularly stand out, for any reason.

I make an agreement with myself to cook at least X number of things in a given timeframe, using my new ingredient/technique set, and go on a hunting and gathering mission. Where I am now, this tends to yield meagre results, so I tend to have long lists for when I go back to NYC.

Or, live on almonds, grapefruit, and coffee for a bunch of weeks, until I start fantasizing about real food.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BadRabbit, that is exactly my problem. I just spent weeks cooking for family and catering to their every whim and now that I can finally, finally cook for myself, I'm at a loss...

These are all great suggestions, thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BadRabbit, that is exactly my problem. I just spent weeks cooking for family and catering to their every whim and now that I can finally, finally cook for myself, I'm at a loss...

These are all great suggestions, thanks.

Heck, find a diplomatic but unambiguous way to tell everyone else to make their own food, and take a break. When I'm fried, my boyfriend fends for himself... he sometimes even makes fantastic pizza!

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In fact, I'd fast if tomorrow wasn't new year's even and my husband wasn't excited about us cooking a meal together for just the three of us. I'm pressuring myself to cook something wonderful tomorrow night. I wonder if my family will hate me if we eat sandwiches. :)

There's all this stuff I hate or is tradition for this time of year so I SHOULD want to make my favorite things.

Sigh....

I think I'm going to take the challenge onthis thread too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I delve into my little book of Ecuadorian recipes when I'm at a loss out of my own head or tried-n-true stuff.

That, and I make a lot of "lazy bastard" dishes that require very little thinking or planning to pull off well. Last night's dinner was one such, a lazy bastard tuna casserole made on the stovetop in my big cast-iron pan.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I go stick my head in the freezer. No, Seriously. :smile:

I quickly lose track of everything that is in there, so a quick trip to the garage and...wow, tri-tip, beef ribs, duck breast...DUCK CONFIT! Always something in there that forces me to think and build around it.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MJX, good point in fact!! Any ideas? :wink: Hahahahahaha

Zeeman, I WISH!! My freezer is tiny. I've got two kilos of baccala that I had bought and didn't make for Christmas, one small port filet, some chopped meat and a couple of sausauge links. Vanilla Ice cream and lemon sorbet. AND IT'S FULL. And not inspiring me.

Maybe i'll try to make Banh Mi, as I've always wanted to. Or prime rib sandwiches with homemade bread. Or.....

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been in a deep, irretrievable, six month-long cooking rut due to the vagaries of life, but for normal temporary ruts there are three things that usually work for me:

1. Go and browse Tastespottingfor awhile. Click the link, it's self-explanatory.

2. I read some MFK Fisher or Elizabeth David. Letting the way they write about food gets me right back into the sensuality of eating, which normally has me back in the kitchen pretty quickly.

3. If all else fails - the drastic measure. I ponder the fact that assuming I'm to roughly live for another 50 years, at 3 meals a day, that's only 54,750 meals I have left! I ONLY HAVE 18,250 BREAKFASTS, LUNCHES, AND DINNERS LEFT!!! This is usually quite sufficient to snap me immediately out of my funk and determined to enjoy something delicious for every last one of those meals, starting now. (I haven't calculated for snacks, second-breakfasts, or midnight feasts).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We keep most of our weeknight dinners in a Google calendar (to keep track of who's making what on their night to cook). So sometimes if I'm not feeling inspired, I'll run back through a few months back of what we ate, and try to see if it either inspires me to think up something new, or at least reminds me of some boring standby that I can make.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you might be burned out on composed meals and menus. How about some tacos? You can put warm tortillas and a couple fillings on the table, like shredded roasted chicken and broiled steak slices, along with a bunch of fixin's like salsa, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped onion, pickled jalapenos, lettuce, etc. Minimal cooking, and people have fun mixing and matching their tacos. You get to sit back and relax.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for me, it often happens from too much rich (and protein-based) meals as is customary during the season...I like to "re-set" by eating a lot of very simply prepared vegetarian meals. And often that means including some kind of "kitchen sink" soup that doesn't require a whole lot of thinking. Homemade bread to go with is a plus.

I think last year I decided to make sushi at home when I needed a culinary re-set, it was fun.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Toasted cheese. And soup.

This is it. Sick of complications, sick of going out, sick of rich food, sick of everything. Toasted cheese sandwich and soup. Perfect.

Ditto. Simplest comfort food is best for when DH & I are sick of eating. I gravitate towards easy pastas like carbonara or aglio e olio, pita pizzas, grilled cheese sandwiches, pan fried steaks, green salad, ramen noodles from a packet. Or takeout sushi & a bottle of sake....

I can see this is going to be our January eating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. look in the fridge and create "something" out of the bits and pieces. Savory bread pudding, soup, pot pie, etc.

2. tell DH to cook for a couple of days

3. make noodle soup/instant ramen with "add ins"

4. eat out or get take out for 2 or 3 days in a row.

Karen Dar Woon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...