If you have lost the will to live when it comes to making dinner...
If you never want to see chicken again or want to hide your slow cooker where no-one will ever find it. Ever.
You are not alone!
Covid cooking fatigue is a real thing you see.
We have been having breakfast, lunch and dinner at home. For 10 months!
We've been trying to recreate a visit to Costa. At home.
We've made banana bread, done the dinners from around the World, played ready steady cook and been through all our recipe books, five times.
I have also mastered the breadmaker and got the crackling on the pork to actually crackle!
But the moments of proud satisfaction have dwindled.
Although it's not just the cooking is it? It's the planning, shopping, preparation and recycling of leftovers.
The adverts on the telly are showing people laughing over chopping carrots and shimmying across the kitchen to fetch a drink....arghhh I want that back!
The inspiration has gone, I'm not sure even Nigella can bring it back this year?!
I know it's a privilege to be able to cook and yes we have been eating well but there's that 'ought to' feeling.
It's that obligation to feed everyone when all I want to do sometimes is get a bowl of cereal and eat it in bed whilst the boys fend for themselves.
You're wanting me to come up with some solutions now aren't you?
Come on Mel, how can we get out of this rut?
So here are my suggestions if you're in the cereal in bed club with me, which I am also taking on board myself!
1. Get some tunes on. Your favourite ones! Yep, shut the door and get those toes-a-tappin' in the kitchen and bring back some energy (gin also helps)
2. Challenge yourself to try a new ingredient (or way of cooking) that you've always wanted to try but were too scared. Jerusalem artichokes perhaps...deep fry parsnip croquettes, roast your sprouts (with bits of bacon) or check out these quick winter recipes from BBC Good Food
3. Committ. Decide on something new and make it an occasion. Once a week is great, maybe a Saturday night? Put it in your diary and make it non-negotiable.
4. Share the load. I am very fortunate my hubby cooks so we try to split the week between us. If you've got some, get the kids involved too. I know this can feel like a chore but let go of the mess (and the fingers in everything as my 8 year old loves to do). Once you've repeated the instructions instructions 50 million times, it's not so bad!
5. Keep your ingredient list short. Check out these 5-ingredient family meal recipes
6. Try a veg box delivery service. Or a meal delivery service like Gousto or Mindful Chef - these have been a lifesaver for us at times - even once a month to have two dinners sorted, it made a huge difference for us and got us back interested in dinner again. It is literally like Christmas when the box arrives.
7. I nearly forgot planning. Just a couple of days at a time works well rather than thinking you have to do the whole week and it will save you a headache when it gets to dinner time and you're already starving!
8. Share meal prep with a friend over zoom - you could even make the same meal together and eat it afterwards across screens.
9. Do an online cooking lesson and make dinner at the same time! I've done some with Anne Marie Lambert from Get Cooking Cooking Made Easy and had great fun meeting other people in their own kitchens.
10. Sod it and order a takeaway!
I'd love to know if you've felt this and what you've tried to help!