Smitten Kitchen’s Trick for Getting Over a Cooking Slump

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This post-holiday slump can be a frustrating time for many a food enthusiast. Although the winter months are usually the time for rustic soups and baked goods that warm up a house while making it smell amazing, many of us are just straight-up burnt out.

We’re tired of standing over a stove. We’re sick of leftovers. We’re one short step away from throwing grapes at our children from across the room and calling it dinner and a show all rolled into one (assuming the choking hazard didn’t scare us away from the idea). But leave it to the amazing Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen to swoop in with an idea that saves the day. Or month. Or season —however long your lackluster mood for kitchens and cooking in general lasts!

Recently over at Grub Street, Perelman shared a week of what she ate and a little-known fact about being in a cooking slump. For starters, you’re not alone. It feels as though this time of year is bursting with new recipes, ideas, and easy comfort food that end up just making you feel guilty for not wanting to cook.

A lot of people would suggest trying a meal kit, or making simple food for a bit, or asking for help from your partner or friend, but Deb has an even better idea. When she did her Grub Street diet, she was going through a cooking slump herself, and here’s what she said she did to get out of it.

“When I’m going through a week when I don’t feel like cooking, I believe in riding it out because it always leads to getting my cooking mojo back.”
— Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen

At some point in time, your body’s desire to cultivate and create becomes stronger than the desire for amazing soup dumplings from down the street. Your need to anchor in the tradition of a warm pot of chicken noodle soup when everyone feels a little run down from the cold swoops in to save the day. I really love the idea of listening to your body and, if you’re able, to just ride out your cooking slump. Align yourself with what you want in that moment, instead of pushing through.

So if you’re in a slump, don’t worry — you’re not alone. Many of us are right there with you and we will all soon be enjoying amazing home-cooked food once more.