November 2, 2010

I Miss Cooking

This has been by far my busiest semester in the 2 years I've been here at NMSU, and as a result I'm barely cooking, which makes me sad. I'm in Master's workshop (a class where we workshop our book-length theses), a nonfiction workshop, and an awesome lit class about girlhood. I love my classes and I feel like I'm learning and producing quite a lot, so that's pretty good, but it feels like something is sort of lacking.

Cooking is a big stress reliever for me, as well as being a means to creativity outside of the realm of writing, so I am really missing it. When I cook I use my hands, my sense of smell, my vision, my tastebuds---and I like using these things as a companion to and in addition to the constant thinking and analyzing I do in my academic life.

I've been productive as a student and as a teacher, but when I have a free minute, I want to lie down on my couch and watch Hulu. I don't want to do the huge pile of dishes sitting in my kitchen sink, or go to the grocery store, or chop vegetables. The only thing I've really made in the last week or so is a chicken enchilada soup that I made in the crockpot, so it hardly counts as cooking (I'm going to post the recipe sometime this week, so check back for's really easy!!). Greek yogurt, Mexican takeout and a pot of quinoa have been my staples for the past couple of days, and I'm missing the variety of flavors I usually have in my diet.

Thanksgiving break is coming up in a few short weeks, so I hope I can find some time then to make a few really good meals. If I don't, I might go crazy (not to mention nutritionally-deficient.)

What do you do when you're too busy to cook? Does eating well when you're stressed matter to you? Are all graduate students doomed to a diet of boxed macaroni and cheese and Lean Cuisines?


  1. I still cook when I'm really busy, I just make much less complicated food. I'll throw together beans and rice or make eggs in purgatory, something that takes 30 minutes or less. Or I'll make something big on the weekend so I'll have leftovers for a few days. I'm like you, cooking relaxes me, so not doing it just makes me feel worse.

  2. I've found baking as the great compromise. Especially muffins. Throwing them together takes, depending on prep work, up to a half hour. I use that time to listen to some music and belt out some angst.
    Twenty minutes later. Muffins.
    If you're lucky you've only dirtied a bowl, a spoon and a muffin pan.


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