I'm wondering if others have this same issue too.
Not really- I've been at it quite a while and have a good store of things I can make with little prep if I'm not in the mood. If you try to do too much, or for too many people in too little time, it can be burdensome, but as a rule the exercise of hand skills can and should be a positive experience. I find that a good music system can help, too.
I confess, it does... and I always procrastinate. But once I get myself started and in the zone, I'm fine. My family has to eat, I love to eat (and especially, to have guests), so I guess there's no avoiding it. Others may feel differently.
I just got a mandolin. It doesn't do everything, but it sure speeds up chopping and slicing. That helps if prep work isn't Zen like for you.
after 50 years of doing it, it has gotten tiresome. i cook for scratch for every (most) meals we eat. fortunately, i have gotten spouse to do shopping but even making the shopping list and planning what we will have for meals is not what i want to do anymore. HOWEVER, we are healthier for it and it has pretty much taught us to make good food choices when eating out. i do things like putting extra chopped veggies in meatloaf and making up a veggie hash for eggs when we have them in the morning. i'm not found of leftovers so there aren't too many floating around. i've tried new cuisines to stimulate my interest but i'm finding the cost (time) benefit (time and enjoyment) is running on fumes as the time to eat compared to time to prep is out of proportion. so, this time spouse is on vacation i'm eating nothing but junk/frozen microwavable stuff. i'd like to know how people get beyond this.
I am terrible at prep...my saving grace...sheet pan suppers!! 😄
The realization that there's nothing edible in the freezer case may help, but you could be dead by then- there are certainly a lot of things to try. My best suggestion (beyond the above mentioned music system) would be to look for ways to challenge yourself- watch some of the stuff Jacques Pepin does with his funny little knife and try (very carefully) to do it, or try to invent methods of your own; you mention new cuisines, so maybe you've already gone this road. As someone getting along in years myself, I know how easy it is to just give up on things, and how important it is not to.
Sometimes. I'm always relieved when the prep work is completed and ready to go. I don't dislike it. I feel maybe it's because it's not the finished product. I equate it to how I feel about sewing. Cutting out the pattern, then pinning it to fabric, etc. I get antsy to have it all put together. BB🍇
Small price to pay for a great tasting meal that is also healthy. Not an annoyance, more like a privilege given all the great ingredients we are surround by.
How lucky you are that you have that wonderful choice, when so many would love to have the opportunity to even have 1 ingredient to think about.
you should vary your diet from npr a bit.
Whenever I have a bunch of produce in the crisper, I wash it all, chop it into decently-chunky chunks, and stick it all in a jumbo tupperware in my fridge. That way, I have cleaned, mostly chopped veggies at the ready for whatever I need them for the entire week (I also find myself munching on them raw for a snack more often than I would if they weren't prepped). It's a nice thing to do when I have a lot of time, and saves me time throughout the week.
I accept this is one of the tasks required of the craft, just like basketball players need to shoot free throws, golfers practice putting, violinists playing scales, whatever.
I don't know anyone who practices a trade, craft, sport or art who doesn't find at least one part of the necessary tasks to be less fun than other aspects of the activity.
One thing I find is that I'm forced to respect the ingredient. Sure, you can buy peeled pearl onions at the grocery store, but I often end up peeling them myself despite the fact that I find the task tedious.
Another thing I realize is that it helps keep my manual skills from atrophying. Yes, I can buy the jar of peeled pearl onions but I've also robbed myself of some time to use my hands.
A lot of kitchen knowledge really cannot be mastered without hands on experience.
You can read a hundred thousand words or watch a thousand videos on YouTube about butchering a chicken, scaling/gutting/filleting a fish, etc., but it's unlikely that anyone can achieve expert level mastery on their very first try and perfectly clean a whole fish in a minute, something an expert fishmonger in Japan would find routine.
It took twenty years of study for even genius level child prodigies such as Mozart to create truly sublime works of art.
If you want to be good at something whether it be videogames, tennis, knitting, woodworking, baking, you need to put some serious time learning the basics.
Of course, if you are loaded, you can just hire a prep cook or personal chef to do all the tedious chores. That won't make you a better cook though.
Yeah, when I'm especially tired or pressed for time, but part of the job as they say. When I'm motivated to cook, I don't even think about because the end result is worth it, most of the time ;)
If you don't like doing these things, then cooking is just not your thing. It doesn't mean that you can't enjoy good food.