When you have to cook for yourself, it can often become less something that you want to do, and more something that is a real chore. It can be really tempting to fall into the pit of pre-packaged meals – they are often perfectly portioned for one and quick to make. However, cooking for yourself can be a truly enjoyable experience when managed correctly. Here are some of our top tips to make cooking for one the fun and pleasurable time that it should be.
Make Your Kitchen Somewhere You Want to Be
Your first step should be to make your kitchen somewhere that you want to spend time. If you want to get more comfortable in the kitchen, you need to make sure that you are going to have a space that you want to work in. If your kitchen feels a little cold and clinical as opposed to welcoming, you should change this up.
What would you like your kitchen to look like? Some people like a highly organised space where everything has its place. Other people might prefer something a little more bohemian – with scattered herbs and items on open shelves. You need to think about what might be right for you and your home, and then pull it together so you are able to create a stunning space that you want to actively spend time in.
Explore Different Cuisines
More often than not, we can decide that we don’t really want to cook that much because we are stuck in a rut. If you are used to eating a certain type of food only, you are obviously going to run out of ways to enjoy it. Instead, you should take the opportunity to explore some of the best cuisines from around the world. There is always going to be somewhere that has an interesting type of food that might appeal to you.
Now is the perfect time for you to start to collect recipes and try to create some of them. Why not give yourself the challenge of cooking food from a certain country each week? After all, dishes vary so wildly across even countries – with some areas specialising in certain dishes and elevating them to become world-famous cuisines.
One week you could be in Italy, the next in China, and the next in Mexico. There are no ends to the types of food that you could try, so take a look at what is out there and start exploring. You could even just start with one of your favourite ingredients and go from there. If you like chicken, why not try to make as many different chicken dishes as you can – taking in dishes from all over the world! You might even find a new favourite way to prepare it, and from a country that you never thought you would visit.
Source the Freshest of Ingredients
Since you are cooking just for yourself, you could potentially afford to splash out a little and grab some more expensive ingredients than you would usually get. Take a look to see if there is a produce market that is local to you nearby. It could be a fantastic way for you to pick up some of the freshest ingredients to try, and it means that you could give directly to those who created them rather than go through a supermarket.
Of course, you can’t always expect to purchase from a market – especially if there aren’t any around you. Therefore, it might be better to look into some of the locally owned and specialty shops that you do have. Patronise your local butcher and grocer. They are going to have ingredients that are far superior to anything that you might be able to get from a store. By shopping with them, you are also putting money into the local economy. It is a fantastic stance to take, and will help you get your hands on some quality ingredients.
Make the Experience of Cooking Fun
When you are cooking for yourself, you really can get into the swing of things and go at your own pace. There is no one else expecting to get food, so you can take things as slowly as you want to. This is supposed to be fun, so you should learn how to settle back and make it fun for yourself!
Put together a playlist of the best tracks for cooking to. They should be just what you need to get you in the mood for creating delicious food. You could also think about enjoying some wine by the glass as you cook. When you are on your own, you could be concerned about opening a whole bottle as it should take you quite a while to get through it. Choosing to drink wine by the glass instead makes it easier to enjoy a single glass as you cook or with your food. Why not teach yourself a little about pairing wines at the same time? By the time that you do get to prepare some food for someone else, you might be able to serve the perfect wine alongside the dish too!
Learn How to Cook One Meal at a Time
When you first decide that you want to cook for yourself, it can be difficult to track down recipes. Everything seems to be scaled for two or four people. You can decide to batch cook, of course, but that can just leave you with a freezer packed with food that you do not want to eat.
It is going to take a lot of finesse, but you could easily manage to get to the point where you are only cooking enough for one at a time. There will inevitably come moments where you do need to open something like a tin and potentially make enough food for the next few days. However, you should also find that it is easier than you think to begin to cook for one and only one.
The first thing you will have to do so if this is your goal is to build up your inventory. You need to make sure that you have access to anything you might need. Having a good store of dried and tinned goods on hand also means that you will be able to whip up any food you could want in the blink of an eye. Though it could be expensive to provision initially, you will hopefully soon have a good inventory to pull from.
Cooking can be a fantastic experience, and there are so many types of people who like nothing more than to rustle up something tasty. If you want to indulge in a new hobby, cooking is definitely something that you could explore. With so many regions of culinary excellence to dive into, not to mention the variations you can find between individual dishes, you could be on the cusp of discovering a brand-new hobby. Don’t consider yourself to be much of a cook? That could change very soon, you just need to make sure that you open and willing to try. Pick up some culinary skills and start to cook for yourself now – who knows when you might need them!