“Cooking is like love.
It should be entered into with abandon
or not at all.”
– Harriet Van Horne


For me, loving large has always included cooking large, while living slow. Now don’t get me wrong, while I love cooking, I also value time and don’t want to spend all of it in the kitchen, or over the fire. Those who have been reading the blog for a while will recall that I love systems too, and with 5 to 8 people living or visiting at the house at any given time, I welcome a little order. For me, having a system that works (I recognize it can’t work for everyone, these are just ideas) not only ensures delicious nutritious meals for the those I care about, it allows for some time to enjoy other adventures.

The backstory – We are all adults, so not cooking for children.  We have carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans at the table. We are fortunate – no allergies to consider.  We eat mostly plant based, mostly organic, and mostly homemade food. I also grow a small vegetable garden.

  • While I love to cook, I don’t love to shop, so I shop quickly, and with a list, so that it’s efficient. It takes about 4.5 hours on grocery day to drive, shop, and put everything away so I shop mostly at one location; I know the store. I write my list by aisle, and I am not distracted by sales or shiny objects. If it’s not on the list, it rarely makes it into the cart.
  • I buy enough similar ingredients to make three meals in the same week. For example, I might make fajitas, then homemade pizza, and then a stir fry, using the leftover vegetables from the night before. And while they have similar ingredients, they have different flavours and unique tastes depending on what I make.
  • I batch cook like some folks batch post on Instagram. I make lots of meals on Saturday morning (while listening to my Saturday playlist) because I have more time on the weekend than I do during the week.
  • I cook in the mornings, before work (I am self-employed working from home, so have the privilege of more time and no commute), rather than waiting until the end of the day when I have less energy. If I can’t make the entire meal, I cook what I can and meal prep the rest – so I might chop all the salad veggies and make the dressing, and then put it all together at dinner time.
  • I make 2 of something because the effort it takes is almost the same and then I have a meal ‘in the bank’ so to speak.
  • I post all the meals that are in the freezer, on the fridge in columns. That way I don’t have to remember what’s in there, and I can just pick off what I want to offer on any one day. I can combine an entrée with a side dish and even dessert. And if I am not home, everyone else knows what’s available too. When we run out of sticky notes, we run out of food.

For me, cooking is a way to nurture others, to have some control over what goes in our bodies, and a way to express LOVE.  And in a world that is turning much too fast for my liking, slowly stirring a pot of soup for those I care about can represent a very intentional and soulful moment in time.