I think it’s only recently that I’ve really started to enjoy being in the kitchen and properly associating it with delicious food and cooking. Growing up, you and the kitchen have a bit of a love-hate relationship. Obviously there’s the food aspect (*FOOD*) but there’s also the groan-inducing chores such as washing up, loading the dishwasher and taking out the bins.
Plus, you usually weren’t drafted in to help with the food preparations (well at least, I wasn’t anyway – partially due to my track record of burning, ruining or under-cooking things – which may or may not have resulted in giving my entire family a poorly stomach on one occasion – I will say no more).
So when IKEA got in touch and asked me whether I’d like to get involved with their new fun campaign – which aims to make the kitchen a fun place for all the family, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some tips about making food preparation feel fun, rather than a chore.
Before I start waffling on, here’s the video they’ve made to illustrate a little more clearly what they’re aiming to do:
And so whether you have kids or not, here’s a few things you could tweak around meal times to make food prep (and spending time in your kitchen) seem that little bit more enjoyable!
- Have a bowl of cut-up fruit in the fridge, ready to sprinkle onto your food. It may seem like a silly tip, but when you’re tired and stressed – cutting up fruit is the last thing you’ll want to do, however actually eating it – can give you an energy boost (in the form of natural sugars), will fill you up and make your food more flavoursome. I keep a bowl of prepared blueberries, bananas, strawberries and raspberries in the fridge for my porridge in the mornings, or to pop on top of some dairy-free ice cream in the evenings. Bear in mind that fruit doesn’t last for ages when prepped in this manner (1-2 days) but it’s a great way to get involved!
- Invest in some colourful utensils. Again, this might seem like a really silly tip but colour and brightness can really change your attitude and mood and jazz up a room you might dread having to spend time in, into one you love. My thing is tea-towels and oven gloves, which I have in an assortment of bright colours. Just like new gym kit makes you more motivated to exercise, new ‘kitchen kit’ has the same effect. Funnily enough, I get all my utensils etc from IKEA, as I always have a big pre-uni-term shop there each summer.
- Spice things up. One of my favourite things in my kitchen is my spice rack, which I am slightly embarrassed to say, was purchased almost 6 months in advance to moving in and probably left me feeling more excited than the prospect of going out to a club. Does that mean I’m officially old? Anyway, having a spice rack there means you can experiment with new flavours without having to dig around for those long forgotten jars at the back of the cupboard. It’s surprising the number of things you can jazz up with ginger, basil and rosemary!
- Have a good ol’ sort out! If I’m in an ‘organise-y’ mood, I can literally spend hours taking out the contents of the kitchen cupboards, binning anything we haven’t used in awhile, washing it and then putting it all away neatly (and in newly designated areas). However, I will admit these moods are rare (once a month, at best) and so when one strikes, I have to make the very most of it. Once sorted, life feels that little bit more organised though. I promise.
Do you have any happy or funny memories in the kitchen as a kid?