A Recipe For Frustration? Why Cooking Always Seems To Take Longer Than It Should

3:33:00 PM

Hello darlings,

while making the Christmas lunch for our families this year, I realised most of the plates I made were new for me. I asked my mom for the recipes since I love her cooking and I need to learn to make this kind of food for our big parties too. If you do a lot of your cooking by following recipes, you will be used to judging how accurate they are. There are many of us who basically treat them as guidelines, jumping-off points to do our own thing. We may even have recipe books around the house with annotations here and there.

If you do a lot of your cooking by following recipes, you will be used to judging how accurate they are. There are many of us who basically treat them as guidelines, jumping-off points to do our own thing. We may even have recipe books around the house with annotations here and there.

Those little notes could be anything. "Replace granulated sugar with coconut sugar", for example, or "pancakes need to cook for longer". But one thing that comes up time and again for those of us who try to follow recipes is the time people claim they will take. The recipe may say "Takes 30 minutes", but we will write "Huh! Try an hour" next to it.

If you're looking for a recipe that is quick enough to throw together post-work and pre-gym, then it can be frustrating. Then again, maybe it isn't the recipe writer's fault. Is everything in your kitchen set up to make things as quick as they can be?

Keep One Eye On The Stove And One On The Clock

The first time you cook a specific recipe, don't expect it to be as fast as the time on the page. Quite apart from anything else, the recipe never says anything about "Double-check step 2" or "Realize you forgot to buy pepper."


But any time after that, bear in mind that a recipe will be as swift as your time management allows. Look down the list of ingredients and assemble them before cooking. Of course a recipe will take longer if you spend five minutes looking for coriander.

Do You Have The Right Knives?

A recipe will allow a certain amount of time for each task. The time it takes for water to boil, for example, and the allowance for sauces to thicken. It will also allow a particular, small period for any chopping to be done.


You can expect this to be multiplied if you try using an unsuitable knife. If it is blunt or just the wrong one for the job, it can really hold you up. Continue reading this if you find yourself getting delayed by extended prep times.

Have Your Pans Seen Better Days?

A watched pot never boils, or so the saying goes. And if your recipe involves boiling water or any other ingredient, you may have found this to be true. Saucepans are built to conduct heat and distribute it through the ingredients in the pan. But if you have a blackened or damaged pot, you could find yourself waiting longer.


If your saucepans are not bubbling away after about a minute, even if you have pre-boiled water in a kettle, then they may need replacing. And every time you use them, wipe the bottom thoroughly. Allowing any food particles or rust to get ground in limits their effectiveness.




Of course, sometimes recipes are overly optimistic. The more ingredients and the more different methods of cooking you use, the longer it will take. A two-pan dish cooked on the stove shouldn't take longer than half an hour if there are only a few ingredients. A large, nutritional stew, however, can't realistically be turned around in less than an hour.

Lately my go to appliance is my slow cooker. I just love the simplicity of putting everything in there and waking up to hot cooked food! I need to research a steam cooker now for all the baby foods I'll be making for our little loaf of bread which turned 6 months old yesterday! Wish me luck!


Lot's of love



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