What I learnt from cooking for my family for an entire year (Part 1)


Well my friends, it has been an entire year since I started cooking for my family. *dramatic music plays in the background*.  Prior to that, I mostly baked some sweet treat on the weekends or special occasions. But for the past year, I've cooked most of the meals at home. 

And I would like to share some of the lessons I learnt ...most of them I learnt the hard way of course *winks*

1. Food prep is essential if you want to spend less time in the kitchen for each meal and don't want to use too much processed food.

I make my own pasta sauce (which doubles up as pizza sauce) and my own chicken stock. I always have baked bread in the freezer and some other dough (tart, pie, cookie) for last-minute "emergencies". 

2. Food can get "stolen" when they are chilling before getting packed.

Yep. It happens a lot in my household. Like the other day. When I was letting the sourdough pancakes cool to room temperature before packing them in boxes to put in the fridge. ONE got "stolen" and I had to watch the rest like a hawk because food prep only works if the food is still around. *LOL*

3. Second-degree burns hurt. A lot.

Like kept me up at night kind of pain. Seriously. I did put my hand under running tap water for a while but not quite long enough (because I didn't want to overcook my steak!). There was pain but the burn marks appeared like an hour later. Fortunately for me, there wasn't any scarring on my hand. 

4. Always choose a container that is bigger than what you think you need.

A bigger container is always better than one that is too small. Check out my overzealous sourdough starter  which tripled in size in a few hours and required some serious cleanup. I also blame the organic rye flour. My sourdough starter LOVES organic rye flour. It is non-responsive to organic AP flour. Organic wholemeal is its second fave. Yep, even my sourdough starter is spoilt. *LOL*

5. Any help is better than no help at all.

Saturday's dinner service is the most "brutal" for me because I have to feed 10 people who eat a lot. But I also get a cleaning crew(3 nephews + 1 niece) after. Who need strict supervision. But any help is better than none. Because the cooking part is the easy part. And nope, we do not have a dishwasher.

There you have it, what I learnt from cooking for my family for an entire year (part 1). Apparently I took a lot of photos of my cooking adventures so stay tuned for a part 2. *winks*

What about you? Any lessons from your year of stay-at-home cooking?


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Cindy deRosier said...

All good tips! I don't cook for 10 often (2-3 times a year during non-pandemic times), but the more people eating, the more important prepping ahead of time is.

Lynn said...

I like this post. I also have been doing more cooking than usual but thankfully I don't have many hungry people. Also my husband cleans up no matter how full the sink is or what the mess is on the stove. Lucky me! I learned this year to start prep work earlier than you think you need to because you can always reheat in the microwave. Check to make sure you have ALL the ingredients even the common ones....some items just disappear! Label everything so there is no confusion between similar looking ingredients. Have a filing system for your recipes and be adventurous enough to try new ones!

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