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Lost Cooking Skills: Need Help Relearning Basics

littleoc

MyPTSD Pro
I have brain damage and forget things easily once there's a break in my routine. Once I have that break, it is very stressful to reintroduce activities (due to autism, ADHD, executive dysfunction, multiple processing disorders, problems with memory, etc.).

I had a severe break a couple of years ago lasting into today, and the result is that I've forgotten how to cook and prepare food. It'd causing significant issues in my daily life. I am trying to gain weight (in muscle preferably but I'm not trying to lose weight, is my point).

Things I do remember:
- how to brown butter
- the concept of. what's it called. soaking the meat overnight in a mixture, whatever that's called
- how to microwave veggies. I forgot how to steam though, somehow....? But can use stove top.
- concept of a frying pan
- how to make rice
- how to chop most veggies or how to look it up
- that I used to get produce at a chain store called Kroger after the local butcher shop was shut down
- how to make eggs
- how to toast toast (toaster is currently on a broken circuit)
- how to make yogurt drinks
- how to make quiche, mostly
- how to heat frozen chicken nuggets (I used to make them in a sauce, not sure but might be able to remember how with time)
- how to follow directions for boxed noodles
- that I used to start the day with oatmeal,

Things I'm struggling to remember:
- how to start cooking
- meal times? Meal sizes?
- what do I eat?
- how do I get ingredients for food? Like how do I know what ingredients to get before I know what I need to eat?
- ???

I'm just struggling a lot. If someone who feels like it could send me some tips as if I were right years old, just as you do them or think of them, I'd really appreciate it

There's already a thread for recipes, so if you write out a recipe you can put it there for everyone, because I do see those and I don't want to have hidden secret special recipes in two different threads lol (I can't tell you what to do, though 😆)

Thanks for anything and anyone ❤️
 
I have brain damage and forget things easily once there's a break in my routine. Once I have that break, it is very stressful to reintroduce activities (due to autism, ADHD, executive dysfunction, multiple processing disorders, problems with memory, etc.).

I had a severe break a couple of years ago lasting into today, and the result is that I've forgotten how to cook and prepare food. It'd causing significant issues in my daily life. I am trying to gain weight (in muscle preferably but I'm not trying to lose weight, is my point).

Things I do remember:
- how to brown butter
- the concept of. what's it called. soaking the meat overnight in a mixture, whatever that's called
- how to microwave veggies. I forgot how to steam though, somehow....? But can use stove top.
- concept of a frying pan
- how to make rice
- how to chop most veggies or how to look it up
- that I used to get produce at a chain store called Kroger after the local butcher shop was shut down
- how to make eggs
- how to toast toast (toaster is currently on a broken circuit)
- how to make yogurt drinks
- how to make quiche, mostly
- how to heat frozen chicken nuggets (I used to make them in a sauce, not sure but might be able to remember how with time)
- how to follow directions for boxed noodles
- that I used to start the day with oatmeal,

Things I'm struggling to remember:
- how to start cooking
- meal times? Meal sizes?
- what do I eat?
- how do I get ingredients for food? Like how do I know what ingredients to get before I know what I need to eat?
- ???

I'm just struggling a lot. If someone who feels like it could send me some tips as if I were right years old, just as you do them or think of them, I'd really appreciate it

There's already a thread for recipes, so if you write out a recipe you can put it there for everyone, because I do see those and I don't want to have hidden secret special recipes in two different threads lol (I can't tell you what to do, though 😆)

Thanks for anything and anyone ❤️
I use fridge hamburger, apples, etc. magnets to help me with what to eat. Plus I wear a reminder bracelet all of the time to help me remember to start cooking. Along w/PTSD, I've had Covid which has made it far worse to remember things. I hope my post helps you. I'm here for you too.
 
I'm getting along pretty well with some simple baking and microwave cooking so far. Lots of pre-prepared frozen chicken and things like rice and pre-made wantons, so that's something :)

I'm having trouble caring about cooking because I almost don't even see a point in it? Which like, if there's no point, why not do it for fun, brain? Why you gotta ruin the party lol

It's something :)
 
Soooooo true :) I hope your hands are doing well?

While I was making frozen fish today (can't really f*ck fish up unless you leave it out for hours lol), my family suddenly showed up, so I quadrupled portions. Frozen steam-in-the-bag peas and pre-seasoned yellow rice worked totally fine as sides :)
 
I have brain damage and forget things easily once there's a break in my routine. Once I have that break, it is very stressful to reintroduce activities (due to autism, ADHD, executive dysfunction, multiple processing disorders, problems with memory, etc.).

I had a severe break a couple of years ago lasting into today, and the result is that I've forgotten how to cook and prepare food. It'd causing significant issues in my daily life. I am trying to gain weight (in muscle preferably but I'm not trying to lose weight, is my point).

Things I do remember:
- how to brown butter
- the concept of. what's it called. soaking the meat overnight in a mixture, whatever that's called
- how to microwave veggies. I forgot how to steam though, somehow....? But can use stove top.
- concept of a frying pan
- how to make rice
- how to chop most veggies or how to look it up
- that I used to get produce at a chain store called Kroger after the local butcher shop was shut down
- how to make eggs
- how to toast toast (toaster is currently on a broken circuit)
- how to make yogurt drinks
- how to make quiche, mostly
- how to heat frozen chicken nuggets (I used to make them in a sauce, not sure but might be able to remember how with time)
- how to follow directions for boxed noodles
- that I used to start the day with oatmeal,

Things I'm struggling to remember:
- how to start cooking
- meal times? Meal sizes?
- what do I eat?
- how do I get ingredients for food? Like how do I know what ingredients to get before I know what I need to eat?
- ???

I'm just struggling a lot. If someone who feels like it could send me some tips as if I were right years old, just as you do them or think of them, I'd really appreciate it

There's already a thread for recipes, so if you write out a recipe you can put it there for everyone, because I do see those and I don't want to have hidden secret special recipes in two different threads lol (I can't tell you what to do, though 😆)

Thanks for anything and anyone ❤️
Would a cooking course or working with a dietitian be an option? You can find a ton of cooking videos in youtube BTW!
 
I'm having trouble caring about cooking because I almost don't even see a point in it?
If you don’t like cooking or don’t need to, there are so many workarounds that I don’t see the point in forcing yourself to do it. This is weird to say but part of me wishes I didn’t like cooking because it’s a tremendous time suck with the prep and the washing. But my brain loves to do it and enjoys the flavors of home cooked more than almost anything I can buy pre-made. Then there’s positive reinforcement of saving money and reducing unwanted food additives. But since time is money I’m spending too much of it with the prep and clean up. I have a vision that some day I’ll get more streamlined in my prep and clean up. For me the problem is that I want to do other things but my brain is so badly delighted by cooking that it’s almost compulsive.

A friend gets all her meals at Trader Joe’s and spends WAY less time in the kitchen and consequently is more successful career-wise and does more social things. Also she eats the same meals every week. My brain would revolt if I tried to do that. But I might have to if I want to get a masters degree. I think I would have to train myself to stop cooking.

Anyway… just processing and encouraging you to do what works for you rather than what you think you *should* do.
 
One of the things I do is to use a lot of prep bowls. Everything that goes into a recipe at the same time goes in a bowl and then they get lined up in order on the counter.

Then, start the steps to make the recipe. It makes it more of a "one step at a time" process, and adding ingredients a "one bowl" thing so its just add this prep bowl and stir cook whatever.

As for the rest - I pick out recipe's I can portion and freeze leftovers. Which means stuff that can be frozen or refrigerated.
I also look for recipes that can be scaled - ie: make half a recipe. Another good source I found was a cookbook called "Cooking for Two" from Americas Test Kitchen. OR Best 30 Minute Recipe - with tons of 30 minute recipes that will make it seem like you cooked for hours. TBH one of my favorites from there is skillet shepherds pie. First time I made it I was thinking "this won't be done in 30 minutes" and in the last minutes - it magically became gravy and I topped and finished in 30 minutes.

As for time - I do it with everything else - set it up on my phone's calendar with alarms or reminders. That's been hard because when I was atypical - I never could keep a calendar and now - I'm lost without it.
 
How do y'all get energy to cook?

I know this might sound silly but I keep going into the kitchen, looking around, maybe even prepping, and then just falling asleep sitting or whatever and not actually being able to finish or eat a finished product. Or I force myself to finish and it takes me my entire day to make oatmeal. I feel like I'm doing something wrong that should help with the energy level....?

I have two chairs in the kitchen. It's a kind of cluttered kitchen because I can't throw away ALL of my mom's stuff, but I've got it to where it's clean enough to use. One chair is a bit short but has a cushion on it, and it did have a table (like a couch tv-dinner foldable table) for cutting things but my mom took it and is using it for storage, basically. The second chair is a bar stool with a back, counter high. There's on average 2 or 3 feet counter space available (small kitchen with lots of items because of bad storage mostly), though using the chair on one side of the kitchen is easier than the other (the broken dishwasher broke the floor on one side).

The refrigerator is pretty small but works. I'm dry brining a turkey in there right now, though, which is pretty exciting. Took me two weeks to actually do it but the turkey itself is still good (and totally thawed).

I think my weakness is mainly how slow I am, and how to work into the energy level? I'm not really sure?

ETA: I think I'm also struggling a bit with anything that requires me to do something I can't picture clearly?
 
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