5 Life Lessons From That Cooking Class We Took
Fun. Messy. Chaotic. The class was good, too.
There’s something about making a thing with your own hands that offers a unique brand of satisfaction. It didn’t exist, then you did things with your hands to make it, and then you took a few steps back and looked at it because now it exists. You made that thing.
It can be a lot of things: a clean or reorganized room, a washed car, a new piece of art, a haircut, etc. Whatever that “thing” is, it now exists because you used your hands and made it happen.
One of my favorite methods of this type of self-satisfying self-expression is cooking. It’s done so often that the art of it can be taken for granted, but cooking is amazing because it can hit all the senses. You start with ingredients, you do some things, and you end up with a meal.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I took a cooking class offered at an upscale grocery store here in town. We’ve been wanting to do it for a while, so we found the time, signed up, got a babysitter, and went.
I thought cooking was going to be fun
Turns out, though, that it was really, really, really fun.
There’s an elegance in the simplicity that is cooking. Cooking isn’t simple, but the idea is: you get ingredients, you have instructions, you do what needs to be done, then you enjoy your delicious meal.
For real, that’s it.
But like most things in life, there are lessons to be learned when cooking a meal. It took me a few days to ponder, but I soon saw that cooking, figuratively, was what we all do…every single day.
5 life lessons we can learn from cooking a meal
- We’re all just working with the ingredients we have.
Just trying to make the best meal possible. The thing, though, is that in life, we all don’t have the same ingredients at the start. So, we end up with different things and we shouldn’t judge. Hell, even if we do all have the same ingredients, the end products are never the same. Just trust that we’re all doing the best we can out here…and also trying to not burn the biscuits.
- Patience is a must.
Part of cooking is the time that you’re not cooking. Meat has to marinade. Ovens have to preheat. Biscuits have to rise. There’s a lot of “while you’re waiting for that, go ahead and do this…” in cooking. Making efficient use of your time is huge, but also…patience. Gotta have it. Your time is always a key ingredient.
- It won’t go as planned. Ever.
Things might get burnt. Sweet potatoes might be dropped into the trash while peeling. A few lines of the recipe might get unintentionally skipped. Even the greatest chefs mess stuff up, but what makes them great isn’t perfection, but rather the ability to recognize a screw-up, knowing how to resolve it, and proceeding.
- If it’s super messy, you’re doing it right.
Leave your OCD at the door, folks. A mess lets you know that a valiant attempt was made, attention was given to both the outcome and the process, and both creativity and experimentation were involved. All things you need in the kitchen..and in life. Don’t trust anyone with a clean apron…they’re hiding something.
- Humility and pride pair well together.
Creating something you love from scratch is always challenging and humbling, but when you sit down and finally get to enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to create, have pride. You did this.
Please pass the salt
Creating a meal from scratch is difficult, but that’s where the fun is. It’s fun because it’s hard and you don’t really know how you did until you (or someone else) tastes the results. Even then, what’s delicious to some might not be for others.
In other words, it can be a total crapshoot, but that leaves you open to being surprised.
So if you’re aware enough in the process to add a dash of fun here and there, the end result is usually hard to mess up.