I have been realizing over time that my love of cooking is really a way I show my love to family and friends. I love to prepare food that my family will enjoy and appreciate. When I don't feel like cooking I don't. There are times when I have worked all day and I'm not the least bit interested and thankfully my husband is usually able and willing to cook a meal. He has certain dishes he is good at making and he also enjoys cooking.
I guess I consider it a labor of love. It is also a way to express my self creatively and try new recipes. Some will become part of my repertoire and other not so delectable creations will be abandoned. Not everything has to be from scratch. There is nothing wrong with taking a few shortcuts. If company is coming though I tend to go all out and often times cook too much food but then there are always leftovers to pick at for a few days.
I don't enjoy the cleanup from one of my cooking sessions but dirty pots and pans have to be dealt with. Actually, I'm a clean as you go person so I try not to let things pile up if possible.
Using a microwave is not cooking, it's reheating. Opening a can of something is not cooking. I confess I keep some frozen entrees in my freezer as backup especially when I don't feel like cooking.
People rave about my spaghetti sauce and I will make a large batch and freeze some of it. I do not have one of those large freezers so I am somewhat limited by the space I have in our regular freezer compartment. Sometimes I will bake ahead for the holidays but have to be strategic about the space available.
I like to make a pot of chili, including potato skins and chicken wings for the Super Bowl. Sometimes though I don't like to repeat myself so I'll go with crab cakes and Jambalaya.
At Christmas I tend to cook a turkey with all the traditional side dishes especially since we are usually away at Thanksgiving so I have to make up for that (according to my husband). I'm the only one that likes home made cranberry sauce but I make it anyway. I love to bake some holiday pies but I am not proficient at making pie crusts so I have a shortcut with a boxed mix crust.I usually make an apple pie and also blueberry and pumpkin. My holiday fudge has improved over the past couple of years.
This past weekend the youngest daughter came home for a few days visit and she jokingly complained she tends to gain weight whenever she comes home so she is glad she doesn't have to live with us anymore or she'd be "huge". I cooked chicken enchiladas which I have made on several occasions and people always seem to like that dish. I do not make it overly spicy but my husband splashes on all kinds of hot sauces. I also baked some chocolate chip cookies and an apple pie. We had some guests for Sunday brunch including blueberry muffins, and chocolate chip pancakes. Now I have a refrigerator full of left overs which we will probably be eating a few days this week. I just do not like to waste food.
I think I will probably take a few days off from cooking.