Being the Backstage Cook


I think too many of us envision cooking as the cooking-show version: a row of delicate ramekins full of pre-measured, pre-seasoned, pre-cut foods ready to be poured artfully into a mixer or a pan. A quick statement of what you needed to do (chop, dice, mince, filet) is all you need.

These days, there are even faster cooking shows, where you don’t even see the cook but instead see a fast-forward version of the person cooking and adding everything, one thing per second. The final product shows up after less than 60 seconds, perfect and picturesque.

I think one of the things that keeps us from cooking more is that we only think of these as the way that cooking looks; real cooking is mostly chopping. I know that I am more likely to cave on the Whole30 month if I don’t pre-cut and pre-wash a lot of my veggies, but I don’t kid myself: I’ve signed up for a month of Sunday afternoons where I’ll be preparing food, making it so that my weekday schedule can fit healthy choices in. It’s a bit of an experiment too – Whole30 is so restrictive that eating in restaurants is difficult, so we’re aiming to not eat any restaurant food the whole month. Instead, some of the money that normally goes toward restaurant eating (because we love it) will be channelled into better, purer ingredients. Not because I’m always going to go organic or go grass-fed or go free-range – I’m just interested to see if I see a difference.

The other day, I prepped potatoes and sweet potatoes to have for meals later on that day and week. It was nice, because I didn’t really notice it. Like food channel cooks, I was able to pull out the things I needed, heat oil in a pan, and make my meal without taking the time to cut up veggies. I’m usually hungry by the time I walk in from work, so it’s a nice thing that I’m able to prep ahead and do a little cooking-show magic, but it’s not without the background cook, the person who makes all those lovely cuts – that person is me, just me on the weekend.

9 comments on “Being the Backstage Cook

  1. GiltsandGlamz says:

    Really great post 🙂 if you like please feel free to check out my site as well

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I am intrigued with your trial run with this approach and look forward to reading about it. I just left Whole Foods where they are selling(for insane prices) lots of chopped up stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you discover some good and useful tips and tricks this month to make your life easier.

    I have found that even pre-washing veggies when I get home from the market saves lots of time when I cook. I don’t like to cook when I am really hungry!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. timothy snap massey says:

    I use a chopper when I am in a hurry. Amazon probably sells them. Medium dice. Small dice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sudustories says:

    About the organic thing…its different in every aspect like taste, size, quality, quantity and above all money. Of course its really refreshing eating organic, at least I have felt it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What you say is so true. Not come across Whole30 what is it?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Like BreadBakerDanielle said, this is so true!! We are the background cooks 🙂 I also hate being the ‘dishwasher’ at my personal restaurant (aka – my kitchen).

    Have you seen Rachel Ray’s show “Week in a day?” I am sure it doesn’t fit the Whole30 goal, but the method helps.. 5 meals in one day, to avoid having to spend tons of time each day. Similar to what you have going!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Prepping for the week with whole foods is a great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love your post here, Meal prepping for the week, bi weekly or even monthly can sometimes be a difficult & tedious task. But plugging away at it only proves to be better in the long run. Also a great routine to get into for sure

    Liked by 1 person

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