Wednesday, November 13, 2013

And I cooked again

Yes, I cooked. Not just in the microwave, which I do quite often. I cooked on a regular stove.
Over the past weekend, I fixed a simple vegetarian pasta dish. It tasted good. Even Larry, who says he’s a carnivore, not an omnivore, liked it and asked for seconds.

It probably sounds ridiculous that a 50 year old person is happy about cooking a simple dish on the stove.
I’ve written about why I don’t cook very often before. If you’ve read about my OCD obsession with stoves, you know that I have had a really hard time in the past cooking on a conventional stove.
Most of my problems with the stove are in the past. This is the way it was:
It was all wrapped up in the obsessions I had about safety. I worried that I was going to leave the stove on and cause a fire, which would hurt or kill my family.
So when the cooking was done, I compulsively turned the stove off and then on again, off, then on again, over and over. I stared at the stove, trying to convince myself that it was really off.
And then there were the contamination fears. I worried that I wouldn’t clean up after the food preparation, and errant crumbs and spills would draw ants and bugs and mice. And then there would be more contamination.
So I compulsively cleaned, wiping the counter over and over, eyeing it from every angle to make sure it was clean.
It was easier to just not cook.

I eventually learned that my compulsive acts did nothing to help me. OCD is tricky like that. Nothing calms the uncertainty for long before more compulsions have to be done.
The real way to break the OCD is to NOT give in to the compulsions, but rather, deal with the anxiety in other ways.
What worked for me was to leave the scene and get busy doing something else. Or I sometimes focused on the anxiety itself.
Whatever I did, I could not indulge in compulsions. In other words, once I turned off the stove, I had to walk away. I couldn’t check it. I couldn’t turn the knob to “make sure” it was off. Likewise, once I cleaned the counter—one pass over with disinfectant and water—I had to leave it.

My OCD has been better over the past several months. And I started thinking about cooking again. Larry and I eat out a lot. Both of us need to eat healthier. I decided that the best way for us to do that was to eat at home more and eat homemade food.
So I cooked Saturday night. I decided I could do it with a minimum of anxiety. And if I did get anxious, I had the tools to push through it.
I turned on the stove, cooked, and then I turned off the stove. I had a little bit of doubt. Then I turned away from the stove. I did OK.
I don’t think I’ll ever love to cook. It’s just not something I want to do a lot of. But if I can cook a healthy meal and feed my husband and myself at home, then I have accomplished something.

Have you cooked anything good lately?


  1. Love the photos, Tina! I enjoy cooking and love to prepare homemade soups and heartwarming meals such as roast chicken, chicken soup, vegetable soup, etc.

  2. Good for you, once again I had no idea of the process with OCD, so bravo Tina! That pasta dish looks delicious.

  3. Good for you! I'm so glad to hear how well you are doing!

    I don't mind cooking because I like homemade food rather than eating out.

  4. I wish I knew how to cook. The only thing I know how to make is toast. And sometimes I even mess that up LOL

  5. Good for you! If you found a handful of recipes that are easy to make, healthy, and that you enjoy eating, I bet it will become more comfortable for you (even if you don't necessarily love it!).

  6. yay!!! i make myself spaghetti meat sauce a lot (using a jar of sauce for base) and make pastas and rice dishes on occasion. i'm not a recipe person at all.

  7. We rarely eat out. Yes I do cook. The last thing I cooked was a titanic disaster. I had never cooked with ginger before. I hadn't pureed it so there were hard chunks of ginger in my soup.

  8. Good for you, Tina! Not only are you eating healthier food when you cook, you are fighting your OCD too. A win win situation!

  9. YaY!! for you tina!! i don't love to cook either, mostly because i am tired of it!! when i have all the ingredients in the house, everything is fresh and ready, i do enjoy preparing a "special" meal!!

    i made a great breakfast on monday, it will be featured on my blog tomorrow. it was fun!!

  10. curious - the 1st dish - is that just pasta or something else (a sauce.)?

    the soup (i could be wrong?) - i think it is soup - what's in it? i love cooking.

    i wish you well on cooking again when you feel you can. ( :

  11. This is great. Congrats! By the way, I've got "1001 Vegetarian Recipes," too. The author is a friend and going to dinner at her house is one of the great treats of my life.

  12. Fantastic Tina! I have a niece who does not cook at all- her husband does. I have secretly admired her for it!

  13. So proud of you, hon! I really enjoy cooking (although I have stove-and-contamination- related OCD as well), and I hope you can cook more in the future!

  14. Such a happy post to read - pushing past and doing something you wanted to do!

    The last really good thing I cooked lately was paleo shepherds pie! I used sweet potatoes instead of white, and spinach and kale instead of corn! It was delicious!

  15. I'm so glad you cooked and that it was a good experience for you. I'm one of those who says the more you do it the easier and more fun it gets, but one day at a time! Three cheers!

  16. I'm happy for you Tina! This is a huge step for you, and i send you a big hug! And the pasta dish sounds delicious and healthy to boot. :)

  17. I'm so glad you could work through cooking a meal. It was alot of hard work for you, but you did it! We eat out alot too and not so healthy. I have almost forgotten how to cook myself!


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