UNITED STATES—It is probably a dreaded phrase so many Americans hear time and time again in their household: “What’s for dinner?” I know I am not the only one and let me just say this, dinner should be fun not a chore. The moment that cooking becomes a chore it takes all the love out of the meal. Why? People expect it. The moment that you change the course of direction, you can send shockwaves to people and not in the best way.

People expect you to come up with the dish, instead of offering potential suggestions. For me, I like to do a different theme during the week. Sorry, I’m not someone who can cook the same thing or eat the same thing every single day. To those people who can do so, more power to you, but that doesn’t float for me. One day might be Italian, the next Mexican, then American, perhaps Chinese, there’s pizza, and so many other ethnicities that can come to mind people.

The thing about cooking that can be a challenge is if your labor (yes, it is labor to cook) is unappreciated. No one wants to slave in a kitchen after an 8 to 10 hour workday. However, to have someone b**ch and complain after you have put food on the table is brutal. You sometimes just want to scream or toss the food in the person’s face.

Hey, you’re not happy with what was crafted, guess what you can cook your own food then. Show a bit of appreciation to the person who has taken their time to feed you. With that said, there are ways to alleviate that dreaded question, by having a different person take a stab at cooking dinner each day of the week. In addition, getting the entire family involved in the process just makes cooking a bit more fun. Especially when it comes to the kids. If you start kids in the kitchen early, they become interested in doing it more and more. My nieces love to cook, especially handling the things I cannot stand doing like prep work. The chopping, the organizing and such, which take up a vast majority of the time in the kitchen.

Prep work is the absolute worst people and I do not care what anyone says, having to chop this and chop that and move this and shake that and shift this and measure that those are the things that are indeed an absolute killer when it comes to cooking and I don’t care what anyone says. If they say, “Oh, the chopping of the onions, the carrots, the garlic, the celery, the potatoes are a breeze, tell them to ask that question to a chef and see what response they get back.

Also for all those culinary titans who might not be school trained, but are home cooks, take a day or two off during the week. Go get take out or dine at a restaurant. Yes, it is indeed better to cook at home than to eat out for budget and health concerns, but sometimes you just need that break, even if it is one to two times a week. That means your stove, your sink and your kitchen gets to rest people. The thing about cooking is it is meant to be fun. The moment that fun turns to dread you’re not putting any love in that food and it will be obvious for those eating whatever you crafted.

Written By Zoe Mitchell