Learning to Cook: An Art I Neglected for 26 Years

I'm not normally a procrastinator. More likely, I'm apt to have an assignment done with plenty of time to spare and my to-do list cleared off. But there's one area I've discovered—only now—where these over-achiever tendencies did not translate, and I wish they had.
You see, for 26 years I never really learned how to cook.

I can decorate a house, whip up some crafts, even bargain-shop to my heart's delight. But this other facet of the art of homemaking never seemed all that important to me...until now.

Growing up, I had an Easy Bake Oven and even a little candy-making kit. But even then, the process was all about the end result rather than enjoying the process. That mindset--that cooking is little more than a means to an end—has haunted me ever since. In college, I subsisted on granola bars, cheese crackers, easy mac and tacos. As I moved from apartment to apartment in the years following, I'd add a couple new items to my menu-repertoire (like veggie burgers and baked potatoes), but little "real cooking."

To me, cooking took too long and too many ingredients. All the recipes for things I wanted to try were so complicated. Grocery shopping was the bane of my existence, exasperating me as I meandered the aisles trying to find the simplest things on my list. From my perspective, it wasn't worth the effort it took. And let's be completely honest here: I was intimidated by it. I'd never learned how to cook, so I never attemped to learn. It was a self-perpetuating cycle.

That is, until I got married and now had someone else to think of. Even though my husband is easy to please and would be content with a revolving schedule of pizza-spaghetti-chicken, as a new wife, cooking now took on new meaning. Suddenly, now it mattered to me. But I was (and, often, still am) lost about where to start, seeing as I never did. It has felt a bit like a mad scramble to make up for lost time and overcome my lack of a home-ec education.

The last two years have been an attempt to brush up in this area. Especially in anticipation that someday it will not just be me and my husband, but a whole family. That's quite a responsibility, and as I've come to realize, learning to cook—and learning to enjoy to cook—takes time. So I'll start learning now, so that someday I really do enjoy it.

For the month of December, I’m taking a break from writing new posts to better enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Instead, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite posts from my first two years of blogging here. I hope you enjoy getting to do a little time-traveling with me, and I’ll be back to ring in the new year with all new posts! (Click here to see today’s original post.)

Related Posts 
What I've Been Cooking Up in the Kitchen Lately
A Few of My Favorite Things: Cooking & Baking Edition


  1. As I was reading this, I realized that I am the exact same way! The end result is all I need! Reading this post gave me a whole new perspective on cooking. Thank you.

  2. I felt the same way when I got married. Growing up, my mom always homecooked every single meal. We didn't know the concept of eating out! Needless to say, I was a bit unprepared for after-college living and of course, cooking for my husband after getting married. Let me just say I'm so glad my husband has been patient with me the past few years! :)

  3. ChelseaK, so glad to provide a different perspective on cooking to a kindred spirit. Sometimes it just isn't easy to get motivated in the kitchen otherwise! :)

    Urban Wife, ditto on the Thank-goodness-for-a-patient-husband! I can barely believe he was so content with eating pasta and tacos multiple times a week :)


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