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how to cook more 
... and avoid takeout temptation by Yee-Fan Sun
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continued from page 2

got the goods, need motivation
When it comes to getting yourself to cook more, one thing is key: Know yourself. Different people have different reasons for choosing not to cook, and the best way to figure out how to get yourself out of the take-out mode and into the kitchen is to figure out why you’re making excuses in the first place. Maybe you don’t cook because you think you don’t know how. Maybe you love to cook to impress a crowd, but just don’t see the point in going to all that trouble when it’s just about staving off the hunger pangs for little ol’ you. Maybe you think cooking’s boring. Or maybe you just have misguided notions about what it means to cook, and think that “real” cooking necessarily means slaving over a dish.

So you’re pantry is stocked and you know that in theory, at least, you’re perfectly able to cook up an edible meal. Now what can you do to get yourself into the cooking mood? A few tips:

If you hate to cook for just one:
Invite a couple of good pals over if the reason you can’t get yourself to cook is that there just doesn’t seem to be any point in cooking for just yourself.

If you think you can’t cook:
Buy a good basic cookbook. The Joy of Cooking is the classic; my favorite is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. If the notion of having to leaf through all those recipes and pick just one to try overwhelms you, ask your favorite fab home cook for a couple of their favorite easy recipes. The key here is to just get yourself cooking: you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll start to feel like you really do know your way around the kitchen.

If you think cooking’s a chore:
As with all chores, a little music to distract you from the tedium is key. Pop in your favorite CD to keep you company while you prep your meals. A little TV background noise or talk radio work well too – one of my favorite things to do while I’m getting dinner ready at night is to listen to NPR.

If the notion that you’re not doing “real” cooking keeps you from cooking at all:
Cooking doesn’t have to be gourmet in order to be good cooking. There’s nothing wrong with occasionally indulging in a homey tuna melt or simple grilled cheese sandwich for a meal (provided that isn’t all you’re subsisting on of course). If it tastes good, it
is good: get over the guilt. And get into the kitchen.


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kitchen timesavers | myth of the bad cook | lazy shopper's kitchen
| cooking without cookbooks

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