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Help! I've lost my cooking mojo and I want it back!


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The title just about says it all.  I haven't been feeling like cooking lately.  At all.  In fact, I don't even want to set foot in the kitchen.  Where once I could spend whole days in there, now I don't even want to think about it.  I don't know why that is, but it bothers me.  My husband says it is because of the pandemic and that once things open up again, it'll  be all right and I'll be back to my old self.  Just so you know, I am not depressed, I'm still a happy person.  Anyone else experiencing the same feeling?

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I'm with you!  I blame the recent stretch of hot weather with threats of rolling blackouts (so no oven) and now the beige, smoky skies.  And, of course, the pandemic. 

They've all teamed up to make me less active and that's pretty much shut down my appetite and interest in making anything other than popsicles...and even that is waning!

I'm trying to avoid going to the store. If I forget an ingredient for something I planned to make, I'd normally just pick it up the next day.  Now, I say, "Forget it, I'll have another egg salad sandwich!"

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Gaaawd I just want my kitchen back! Oct 4 can not come soon enough. The Pinterest sheet pan on Food52 with artichoke, fennel, cabbage, eggplant had me twitching with lust.  Sorry y'all are "mojo-less" - it will return. Eat some Lean Cuisine or Chef BoyR D and you will be propelled back to your cooking selves ;)  

 

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I would be so happy if I never had to cook or eat.  This is not a good place for me to be in at any time.  

Lately I cook for John .... shrimp and pasta, pasta and shrimp, what ?   no shrimp?  I don't want pork or bison or chicken and NO SANDWICHES!!!!

I am living on Ensure ....

The thought of eating anything makes me feel ill.

I have reached out to my network to try to figure this out.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Wow - I can not eat when I am upset.  Lately so much to be upset about - but food is connection and play and  joy. I move it in that direction. I just learned that a business nemesis died at 64 10 days ago. I called his mom. What did she bring up: are you still doing that wonderful holiday baking. I was not gonna this year - but I will. 

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2 hours ago, ElsieD said:

The title just about says it all.  I haven't been feeling like cooking lately.  At all.  In fact, I don't even want to set foot in the kitchen.  Where once I could spend whole days in there, now I don't even want to think about it.  I don't know why that is, but it bothers me.  My husband says it is because of the pandemic and that once things open up again, it'll  be all right and I'll be back to my old self.  Just so you know, I am not depressed, I'm still a happy person.  Anyone else experiencing the same feeling?

 I've felt the same way for a couple years now. :S

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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7 minutes ago, heidih said:

 

I think our boy needs a field trip intervention ;) 

 :)

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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3 hours ago, ElsieD said:

The title just about says it all.  I haven't been feeling like cooking lately.  At all.  In fact, I don't even want to set foot in the kitchen.  Where once I could spend whole days in there, now I don't even want to think about it.  I don't know why that is, but it bothers me.  My husband says it is because of the pandemic and that once things open up again, it'll  be all right and I'll be back to my old self.  Just so you know, I am not depressed, I'm still a happy person.  Anyone else experiencing the same feeling?


Yes. A couple of weeks ago, I felt like I was starting to repeat myself in the kitchen and was quickly losing interest, but I still needed to feed my husband, so I thought I might experiment with doing each week on a different cuisine. This past week dinners were mostly Italian American, which my husband loves. And now after watching Chef’s Table BBQ and the Taco Chronicles on Netflix, I am back to enjoying cooking our typical Southwest/Tex-Mex dinners. Pork Butt currently in the Instant Pot for Carnitas and Green Chile Rice cooking away in the Rice Cooker.

Edited by robirdstx (log)
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Count me in.  I'm still cooking, but if it weren't for being married, I think I'd live on wine and an occasional bite of raw hot dog.

 

Where we live grocery delivery is not possible --unless it's like 2 day shipping or overnight from someplace (not a local grocery store...I'm talking specialty places).  So, I've still had to go into the grocery store every few weeks (I've become so used to my mask, I feel naked without it).  I've tried to find new things for me...that always helps me want to try....  Shishito peppers were my new find lately.  I'd like to spend money on some shrimp etc. but not in the cards right now.  Especially with UPS and FedEx being super unreliable...and the heat.

 

I have a lot of stress ( I have major anxiety anyway for no reason so pandemic has added a great load of "fun" lol) because of upcoming events that I'm against happening but I don't know what my other half is going to do....I'll leave it at that.

 

My best advice (and what I do) is even if I have a plan for dinner, if I'm not hungry for it, I'm not making it.  I switch.   Or if I'm absolutely not hungry at all, Ronnie has to pick and I'll make something for him and I'll pick at it.

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I can relate.  I'm hungry (because at the bakery I snack on cake scraps and ganache and cookies and I'm sick of all of it to be honest.  I need protein! LOL. Plus I've gained 15 pounds :( ) but when I get home I don't want to cook.  At the start of the pandemic, I was home by 2 or 3 in the afternoon and I would throw together a frittata, or baked pasta; or I would make the Fiesta Chicken in the Instant Pot or Rancho Gordo bean stews, meatloaf of different types. I was searching for Instant Pot recipes and enjoying making new things - some were keepers and others were duds.  I made lists, navigated Restaurant Depot (I wasn't doing grocery delivery and curbside pick up wasn't a thing then), got fresh fish delivered twice a week, made menus and I looked forward to cooking.  Flash forward to now: we are doing some small weddings, I'm working (every day) pretty much alone save for the high schoolers who come in one or two days when I am too busy to handle work and the dishes and I'M TIRED.  I don't want to cook anymore.  I'm repeating just out of boredom: pizza, grilled salmon (Rub with Love is a godsend!), baked haddock, grilled swordfish, peanut noodles with chicken.... Maybe when fall sets in and the weather is cooler I'll get more adventurous.

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4 minutes ago, JeanneCake said:

I'M TIRED.

Amen.

 

Today I threw a pork roast in the slow cooker with the usual onions, carrots and potatoes.  I'll make gravy from the broth here in a bit.  Slow cooker can be our friend......but if it's hot , I know that kind of food isn't wanted.

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It's unclear to me whether my laziness is the result of the pandemic or just boredom after so many years of cooking every day. Maybe it's both. My main meals are in shrinking rotation. They involve a lot of stocks and frozen marinara sauce which I am so sick of making but are so useful for pasta dishes, pots of beans, simple Asian soups, etc.  Chicken stir fry with choi sum is once a week. Shrimp wontons are an easy fix, soupy or not soupy. My major market has good shrimp and good wonton skins, but no pot-sticker skins and a run to Chinatown isn't in the cards lately, so I'm not making dumplings and I'm suffering from a lack of roast duck sold on the hook. It will be sad when fresh tomatoes go away, since my most reliable comfort food is currently tomato risotto. Sometimes I look at the plated pix of ambitious eGer's that have four or five different dishes cozying up on one plate and I'm in awe. Desperation is a BLT or a tuna melt and a root beer float. That cheers me up. Every time. 

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I've felt some of all that lately.  It will be worse after baseball and summer goes away this year.

 

I find that when I get bored of cooking, it helps to screw around and experiment with new stuff.

 

Lately I'm fooling with twice baked potatoes...a lot can be done with them.  Lasagna may be next. Or tapas.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, gfweb said:

I've felt some of all that lately.  It will be worse after baseball and summer goes away this year.

 

I find that when I get bored of cooking, it helps to screw around and experiment with new stuff.

 

Lately I'm fooling with twice baked potatoes...a lot can be done with them.  Lasagna may be next. Or tapas.

 

 

 

 

 

Buy an Anova Precision Oven.

 

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I can totally relate, although it's not due to the pandemic. Except for the negative impact on roaming freely for travel and shopping, it actually helped us with more time and energy on our hands.

We had some stuff going on, so I lost track of this forum for a few years and I didn't cook so elaborately as I used to do. Getting back here has been inspiring, but I don't recommend you all stay away for such a while. It would be very quiet and less informed here!😋

 

What is it that holds you back?

It can differ greatly if you just need a break from cooking, a new routine or new inspiration.

 

 

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Wine Helps.

 

drunk.jpeg.dd58f9d7cad5eade272573a3ba3d224e.jpeg

 

More Wine Helps More.

 

one of my favorite soups is Bean w Bacon .   Campbells makes a very

 

decent version , and I add in granulated garlic and onion and Spanish Smoked

 

Paprica   ( all from Penzey's )   granulated is not powdered .

 

and use a hand masher to get it more on the creamy side.

 

Campbell's must have noticed my pending ennui , pandemic or age related.

 

or both.

 

the cans of BwB soup I initially got for several months needed a can opener  ( from Target , via free 2-day )

 

I must have completely bought out Campbell's stock during the early pandemic

 

now they come w a ' pull-tops ! '

 

money-mouth.gif.953ca6baad4e51d100d3b7d64092f4b5.gif

 

suprise.gif.129b59317ed63719798f777da0837cf4.gif

 

 really they do !

 

save me energy and time.

 

go figure.

 

but im pacing myself for a Blitz to RocheBro  or Tj's

 

thinking of making beef+pork meatballs , italian style :

 

flat leaf fresh parsley , Parmesan-ish ( very small cubes ) eggs , Penzey's Tuscan Sunset 

 

https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/tuscan-sunset/c-24/p-319/pd-s

 

( for the hint of anise )

 

and then poaching the MB's  in jarred marinara sauce SV @ 130 F for several hours

 

individual large servings /bag. Ill splurge and get the jared sauce with crushed tomatoes

 

as the initial ingredient , not tomato paste.   big difference in the two types.

 

then rest up for a few months.

 

 

Edited by rotuts (log)
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I can't stand for long.

Tremor makes doing things difficult.

My short-term memory is bad.

I have a tiny kitchen with little space.

I have a one bay sink that makes washing dishes a pain.

 

But I'm mostly tired and lazy.

 

I haven't touched the Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Three-Quart that I bought almost 3 years ago!!! :o

@Shelby Inspired me to get a springform pan for Instant Pot cheesecakes —it's brand new and unopened!

If I can't work for cheesecake, that's BAD, real BAD!!! LOL :laugh:

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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You could all always try something new - like cooking naked?  Well, wear shoes.

 

Nah - forget I even said that.

 

Here are a few ideas that I really think helped me. I've basically cooked or prepared 3 meals a day, every day, since when, March 16th? 

It's truly not the cooking that causes the ennui, it's really the cleaning up part - which I do religiously, because well - I was once a professional, and that's what you do. And god knows, I don't want to walk into a dirty kitchen in the morning. In an 800 square foot apartment. With a cat.

 

But - try digging into a new-to-your cooking routine cuisine.  Like I've done with Thai/sushi/dumplings - most everything is available via Amazon or some other source. You know, something you only eat when you go out to eat - like @Shelby has done with sushi, for example. 

 

Believe me, I'm just as miserable as the rest of you (okay, moreso probably), but this is just an ugly chapter in our history, and it too shall pass.

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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8 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Buy an Anova Precision Oven.

 

If I hadn't bought that Philips IR grill for Christmas last year, I'd be in tougher shape now!  I don't use the IP much (except for maybe the beans) in the summer, but it gets a work out in the winter.  That grill though, gets used every other day, sometimes even every day, much to the chagrin of the Breville Smart Oven ;) .  I'm sure if I told the husband and son that I wanted one of these ovens this Christmas (and I'm not saying I don't!) the first thing I would hear is "oh yeah, what are you going to cook in it"? and then, "where would we put it?"

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23 minutes ago, weinoo said:

You could all always try something new - like cooking naked?  Well, wear shoes.

 

I've tried that!

Potential hot food spatter is a serious issue! :laugh:

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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im very uneasy going to the supermarket.

 

there is a RocheBro near by

 

https://www.rochebros.com

 

and a TJ's  not that far away.

 

both have early senior hours and very well run.  Monday @ RB 7 am Ive been the first in

 

w no one behind me , and out in 6 - 7 minutes.  Paradise ( not ) Lost

 

TJ's is 8 am , and two or three ahead of me.   Ill go next Tues. as my Wine Buds are there

 

then , and have a few cases already stacked for me right by my personal check out

 

lane.  its not really rpersonally mine , but one WineBud is ready w the " stack " and one

 

ready to ring them up.   Im very fortunate to still be able to get my table wines from them

 

one of which comes from FR.   Im sure when they run out of it, there wont be any more for

 

quite some time.  TJ's has some very tasty prepared food.   I would be able to cook close to a few

 

of these items myself w all the ingredients , others I might surpass if I took this on

 

but , through experience and TradeSchool Id be very unhappy if I get The C19.

 

that's my excuse., but my attention span was waning well before C19. 

 

but I have a theory about this , and it comes from my understanding of Polio :

 

also known as poliomyelitis :

 

https://www.who.int/health-topics/poliomyelitis#tab=tab_1

 

Im old enough to have been vaccinated via an intial injection , and later a coated sugar cube.

 

Ive also taken care of adults older than I am , in a children's hospital , as it was the only place

 

that could dust off  " Iron Lungs "  

 

the theory at that time was that physical therapy would help re-inervate the muscles.

 

over time , a long time , it came to be thought that muscles only had so many contractions in them

 

over their life time, no matter what.

 

so , over one's lifetime , there are only so many meals you can make.

 

that's my theory.       pretty Odd , no ?

 

maybe Meals-Making  re-generates after some rest and recoup-ing.

 

I hope so.

 

 

Edited by rotuts (log)
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I've been in a funk too. I usually scour the internet for interesting recipes or dishes but that hasn't really helped lately.  We did a lot of cooking projects during our lockdown. But that ship has sort of sailed in that we have less interest in making pretzels, raviolis and knishes, dumplings (fail!).  I've been trying to get my young son interested in cooking so he can take over some meals, but that hasn't proven itself very successful. 

I feel uneasy in supermarkets still, like you @rotuts! So very little inspiration coming from there too. 

That said, egullet has been a great help, as usual! 

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