twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Moms: How to Cure Your Kitchen Phobia!

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Ronda Kaysen: Alma Schneider is a 41-year-old mom of four and a clinical social worker in suburban New Jersey. You'd think that would be enough to keep a girl busy, but she's also the creator of "Take Back the Kitchen," a blog she launched in 2007 that's dedicated to helping people overcome their fear of the kitchen.

Alma Schneider

Schneider is convinced that the reason many of us moms order takeout rather than create a tasty meal for the kids is that a psychological issue of some kind is holding us back -- and if we can figure it out, we can get over it and channel our inner Julia Child. She's put her theory into practice, treating people's kitchen phobias with therapy sessions that involve restocking the pantry and dusting off the Cuisinart.

We sat down with Alma to find out the secrets to great cooking -- and how we can all let go of our fear of peeling garlic ....

Momlogic: How did you come up with the idea for "Take Back the Kitchen"?

Alma Schneider: A friend of mine moved and got this huge kitchen. For her housewarming gift, I told her that I was going to teach her how to cook. I sat in her kitchen with her and started asking her questions. And I went home that night and wrote up this long plan addressing all these issues of hers. I looked at it and had this epiphany: There is a psychological issue to cooking, and no one addresses these issues. I realized that this was my new career.

ML: What are some of the psychological barriers people have toward cooking?

AS: Gender-role complex is one. People think it's not cerebral enough; it's not important enough to be tied to the kitchen; we don't need to be cooking and should be focusing on career-minded ventures.

ML: What's the quirkiest barrier you've ever heard of?

AS: There's a client I dealt with whose mother-in-law literally had her own Tupperware, cooking utensils and food in her house. The mother-in-law would cook with her own ingredients and freeze it so that her son -- my client's husband -- could have all these nurturing foods from his mother.

ML: How did you solve that one?

AS: We took back [my client's] kitchen. We brought all the mother-in-law's things down to the basement [so she could] take back her space and make it her kitchen. [My client] said, "I want my husband to come every day and smell food cooking." And she has [succeeded]. 

ML: For me, the hardest thing about cooking dinner is motivation. Sometimes the kitchen is a mess and the thought of washing the dishes before I can even begin to chop the onions is just more than I can bear. How would you suggest that an exhausted, overworked mama tackle that one?

AS: Cooking is about incentive. What is your incentive? Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to save money? Once you become aware of what your incentive is, you're going to be more motivated.

ML: What do you enjoy most about cooking?

AS: It's creative. I really started delving into it when I had kids, because it was the only thing I could do with little pockets of time. I could never finish the laundry, but I could finish a meal.

ML: You have four kids. Do any of them cook?

AS: Yes. My oldest daughter loves to cook. It's time for us to talk when we cook together. It's a great way to bond. She's very creative and she comes up with interesting recipes and she's only 9.

ML: What's your kids' favorite meal?

AS: We have "make your own taco" night; I put out bowls of different things and they make their own tacos. They love the creative aspect of it.

ML: What's your favorite dish to cook?

AS: Green Thai curry is one of my favorite foods, and I love the fact that I don't have to go to a restaurant to eat it. I love serving it to people because people can't imagine that they could make it. It's very empowering to do that.

ML: How did you learn to cook?

AS: I was always around food. I would watch my mother cook for seven kids every single night, and although they weren't gourmet meals, there would always be a well-balanced meal even though she worked until 4 every day.

ML: How would you describe your cooking style?

AS: Eclectic.

ML: Do you think that anyone could be a good cook, or is there a certain innate talent involved?

AS: I don't think it's innate. Like anything else, the experiences that people have early on in their lives and later in their lives influence how they cook. Some of my clients who were kept out of the kitchen or criticized early on in the kitchen might say, "Forget it. It's not for me."

ML: Is there a secret to good cooking?

AS: Cooking is not just about the food. It's about experiencing the cooking and experiencing serving it to people and eating with people. Enjoy the ride and remember why you're doing it. If you keep all those things in mind, cooking will be less stressful and more enjoyable. 

next: Sick to Death of Kids Being Bullied to Death
62 comments so far | Post a comment now
www.rentwiki February 13, 2011, 2:27 PM

Have you considered including a few social bookmarking buttons to these sites. At least for twitter.

Web Site February 14, 2011, 5:58 AM

You should really moderate the comments at this site

zespół muzyczny wesela February 19, 2011, 2:12 AM

I didin’t belive but my wife said that you are right

modern rugs February 22, 2011, 10:45 PM

I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout of your website? Its well written; I enjoy what youve got to state. But maybe you could add a a bit more in the way of content so people can connect with it better. You have got a great deal of wording for only having one or two graphics. Maybe you can space it out better?

office chairs mesh February 25, 2011, 10:29 PM

I’m getting a browser error, is anyone else?

Affiliate Marketing March 11, 2011, 2:49 AM

Have you thought about adding some differing opinions to your article? I think it might enhance everyones understanding.

benefits mangers March 12, 2011, 1:24 AM

Hey, I just hopped over to your web site using StumbleUpon. Not somthing I might generally browse, but I liked your views none the less. Thank you for creating something worthy of reading.

Kizzy March 22, 2011, 7:42 AM

I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

Raymundo March 23, 2011, 5:23 AM

Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.

Affiliate Marketing March 24, 2011, 3:28 AM

When are you going to post again? You really inform a lot of people!

dating sites March 24, 2011, 4:46 AM

rather beneficial stuff, all round I imagine this is worthy of a bookmark, thanks a lot

Kinect Games March 25, 2011, 9:02 PM

Is it fine to place part of this in my site if perhaps I publish a reference point to this web site?

soccer team names funny March 28, 2011, 6:57 AM

If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.

Logic Bomb March 29, 2011, 5:41 PM

Brilliant, thanks, I will bookmark you later!

phones on contract April 1, 2011, 2:55 AM

After I start your Feed it seems to be a ton of garbage, is the issue on my part?

Affelfdyerm April 2, 2011, 5:33 AM

Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.

Missy April 2, 2011, 9:23 AM

Do youve a spam concern on this web site; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we now have developed some nice strategies and we are searching to exchange solutions with other people, be sure to blast me an e-mail if serious.

Antonina Forni April 2, 2011, 1:23 PM

Im getting a browser error, is anyone else?

voyance April 4, 2011, 11:10 PM

Have you considered including several social bookmarking links to these sites. At least for youtube.

click April 5, 2011, 9:20 PM

Amazing article, thanks, I will subscribe to you RSS soon.

Back to top >>