I may earn a little money through the links on this page (at no cost to you), but I only recommend products I love. Promise. Click here for more info.
Cooking can teach you many interesting skills like how to chop an onion, the best way to peel garlic, or how to make an easy pan sauce.
But what about the lessons learned from cooking that have nothing to do with cooking at all?
Now I’ve got your attention.
I never went to culinary school. Never had a mom or a grandma teach me the way around a kitchen.
I am, for better or worse, 100% self-taught.
So I’ve spent hours in my kitchen creating, learning, and laughing (mostly at my own expense) but the most valuable lessons learned from cooking over the years don’t actually involve food.
So if you’ve considered learning how to cook but aren’t sure what’s in it for you (other than delicious meals, that is), perhaps these 5 life lessons I learned from cooking will inspire you to get started.
[Related: “The Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Learn How To Cook“]
Here are my top life lessons learned from cooking:
1. Live In The Moment
Yes, it does sound cliché.
But what I’ve learned from my years in the kitchen is that cooking, like life, is a process and it often takes longer than you’d like to achieve your desired outcome.
So while patience is key in cooking, the lesson learned from cooking has less to do with patience and more with learning to enjoy the process.
Change your perspective on cooking and try to view the time in the kitchen as an escape, an outlet, and an enjoyable experience, and suddenly you’ll want to cook all the time.
Cooking doesn’t have to be just another chore on your growing to-do list. It can be the part of the day you look forward to most.
If it helps, pour a glass of wine. Everything is more fun with wine.
[Related: “10 Fun Things To Learn How To Cook Like A Pro“]
2. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Look, we all talk to our animals when no one is around. Or our houseplants, whatever.
One of the important lessons learned from cooking is to embrace your inner weirdness and let your freak flag fly.
Cooking is meant to be fun so let loose and enjoy yourself.
Sing, dance, spill things.
If you need inspiration, watch a few Julia Child cooking videos. She embodied all that is perfectly imperfect in cooking and in life.
3. It’s Ok To Fail
This is one of the lessons learned from cooking that took me a while to master.
If you consider yourself a perfectionist you likely struggle with the occasional (albeit tiny) screw up. I get it. I used to be you.
But one thing cooking has taught me, in no uncertain terms, is that screw ups are an inevitable part of life.
No one skates through life without making any mistakes. And, frankly, no one should hope to.
[Related: “The Best Beginner’s Guide On How To Learn Cooking Techniques“]
4. Sometimes Less Is More
More is not always better.
Sometimes the simplest of things bring us the most joy.
For me that’s a warm chocolate chip cookie straight from the oven.
It’s gooey. It’s a little salty and just sweet enough. It’s unpretentious.
It doesn’t require any special equipment or advanced skills to prepare. (pretty sure I’ve seen kids make them)
But it’s perfect and it makes me smile.
And things that make us smile are worth savoring.
[Related: “How Can I Learn To Cook Better In 2021?“]
5. Celebrate Small Victories
The great thing about cooking is that small victories happen all the time.
The first time I successfully made a delicious lasagna was a big win for me.
I’d been semi-scared to make it since college when my roommate and I made what could easily be considered the worst lasagna ever. (which later became the worst thing my roommate ever stuffed down the garbage disposal)
But one of the many lessons learned from cooking is that victories come in all shapes and sizes.
Creating a mouthwatering lasagna is a huge win, don’t get me wrong, but so is frosting a cake for the first time or making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
So celebrate more.
Invite the neighbors over. Brag about your accomplishments.
Or you could share food with them. That’s good too.
Want more great lessons learned from cooking? Check out these 7 Of The Best YouTube Videos To Learn How To Cook!