Tuesday 10 May 2016

Removing the stress from cooking

As parents, whether we split the chores with our partners or not, we have to do a good amount of cooking each week. And sometimes, when you’ve put in a solid day’s work, this can be the last thing on your mind.

This is because, at times, it’s stressful! With that pan boiling over, smoke billowing from the oven and the microwave beeping, your head can quickly turn to mush. Well, fear not young Masterchef - there are a lot of ways to make the preparation of food a lot easier!

Whether it’s more planning or more tools, make sure you’re ready for the week ahead. Hopefully, you find some of these tips useful!

Plan your weekly menu

This is one of those golden nuggets of advice that can save people a lot of stress - yet nobody ever seems to do! Whatever day your weekly shop is on - Sunday, Friday, Wednesday - write out a meal plan the night before. This allows you to buy a bit more wisely, and you won’t end up overspending.

It also means that come cooking time, you know exactly what you’re making and you have the correct ingredients. All because you laid it out in advance!

Make sure you’re fully kitted out


I have fond memories of that time I tried to grate cheese with a potato slicer. I also remember the time I tried to open a bottle with a carving knife. To say that I was underprepared is a complete understatement!

Cooking is made a lot, lot easier if you have the proper tools and equipment. Unless you’re living on microwave meals - and you really shouldn’t - you’ll have a variety of products to prepare. And each of them is prepared differently. Think about it. Chopping boards, pizza cutters, stock pots, roasting pans… the list goes on. A company like Emporium Cookshop can offer you a wide variety of this cookware, and maybe you won’t have to grate cheese with a potato slicer.

Stock up on the essentials

Ever been cooking something, realised you needed a pinch of salt, but had no salt? It’s frustrating. The same goes for any kitchen staple, like bread, butter and milk. We need these items every day, so it’s a good idea to stock up on them. If your kids only eat breakfast cereal in the mornings, then you can probably skimp on the bread - but remember everything else! It’ll make your life a lot easier.

Cook in bulk


Of course, if you’re really strapped for time, then you aren’t out of options. I’d invest in a slow cooker for this step, as it allows you to cook a giant hunk of meat in one day. Similarly, you could cook rice, pasta and potatoes in giant vats, and refrigerate them for easy access at mealtimes. As long as they’re stored in a cool environment, they can be brought out again and reheated as necessary. You may still have to prepare some amount of food on the day, but you’ll have reduced your work significantly.

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