I find joy in many aspects of my life. However, at the beginning of December, I was DONE. I was done finding joy. The joy in cooking, that is. I LOATHE cooking. Who in the world should expect a healthy meal for lunch, supper and breakfast, anyways? I hate recipes that tell you what to do and then all of a sudden it burns. I hate searching Google or looking through Pinterest boards with perfectly made meals. Here’s a thought, maybe I should start my own Pinterest board, “The Epic Recipe Fails” or “This Board of Really Cool Meals That Never Turn Out.” All of this over a pan of burnt muffins. At that moment (which also includes many days) for me, there is no joy in cooking.

Cooking Failures

I have had a long line of baking and cooking failures. There is the squash soup, the black-looking potato soup, the evaporated beef (a.k.a. roast), and the infamous “iPad brownie”.

There is my friend who can just dump food and spices together and her meals turn out amazingly. And then there is my husband’s secretary who can take any array of leftovers and create a delicious concoction. I have tried these cooking techniques but they don’t bode well for my family.

How many times could one person – namely me – possibly fail. There has to be a point where success shows up, to encourage me to keep trying. Just as Julia Child said, “Cooking is one failure after another, and that’s how you finally learn.”

Finding Success in the Kitchen

I keep failing over and over. However, for some odd reason, my family likes healthy lunches and suppers and for that reason, I keep trying.

Over Christmas break, a successful evening in the kitchen finally happened. During the meal prep process, I was so excited about how well everything was going, I even set out our table with our best chinaware. I actually prepared a meal with all the food groups represented for our family. The best part of the evening was the rave reviews from my children and husband. The only complaint, I did not season the mashed potatoes with enough salt. I actually needed the success of this night to encourage me to keep getting back into the kitchen. A tiny amount of joy.

Fail over and over and at some point, success will happen.

Two days later, I went back to the kitchen to try creating another meal. My mind was filled with a little apprehension as I prepared a prime rib meal for the first time. I even set out our best chinaware again. Success happened again. As we gathered around the table, there were smiles and my heart was filled with a small amount of joy.

I will fail, fail again, and then will fail some more. However, at some point, there will be a tiny cooking success. And at this moment there is actually joy in cooking.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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