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From: Jo Stepaniak (jo.vegsource.com)
Subject: Re: getting back into the cooking "mood"
Date: August 14, 2009 at 10:29 am PST

In Reply to: getting back into the cooking posted by veganruthie on August 14, 2009 at 8:16 am:

I go through phases like that, too, Ruthie. A lot of it has to do with my working long hours and not having the energy to do much cooking at the end of the day. Then, on the weekends, I'd rather be outside during the warm weather, and cooking loses its appeal.

What I've found helpful is to try different styles of cooking or explore new vegetables or fruits. You could also try new types of cookware, possibly some that you already own but haven't used in a while, like a slow cooker or pressure cooker. I'm getting back into using my pressure cookers, which had been collecting dust for a few years. Now I'm excited to try different dishes in them.

You could also try other preparation equipment, such as a new blender (get a Vita-Mix if you don't own one and can afford it) or food processor. You could switch your eating style to more raw food, or more whole grains, or home-cooked beans, for example. I recently ordered 18 pounds of heirloom beans (you don't have to go that crazy!). Alternatively, you could investigate the countless different types of domestic and exotic rices.

You could explore dishes that don't take a lot of time and effort (my preference) or ones that feature locally grown food (such as from the farmers' market). The simpler I make my meals, the more inclined I am to enjoy preparing them.

Another idea is to do a "Julie and Julia" and try making all the recipes in a particular cookbook. For instance, you could get on a "saucy" kick and make all the recipes in Saucy Vegetarian (not all at once, of course!).

I hope that will give you some ideas to jump-start your cooking enthusiasm. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone!

~Jo



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