I used to be a multitasking demon in the kitchen. While dinner was cooking I'd have pumpkin chopped and roasting in the oven; a pot of vegetable-scraps-stock: simmering away; enough bread dough mixed for the next week; pepitas toasting in a frying pan and then I'd finish by chopping up some fruit ready to turn into jam.
All very Martha Stewart-esque. All very busy and efficient.
But my poor migraine brain now struggles with multitasking and just thinking about all that busy-ness makes me want to lie down.
So now my cooking is much quieter, simpler and more focused. I try to get the whole meal cooked in just 20 minutes, from standing up to cook, to dinner being ready to eat.
However even though I'm only cooking for 20 minutes, there's almost always a point in the meal making where I'm waiting for something - water to come to the boil, vegetables to be cooked, the frittata to brown under the grill - and so I try to use this morsel of time to do just one extra task.
The other night I was cooking some asparagus, which we had with an omelette. I used a Madhur Jaffrey recipe, where the asparagus is cooked in a Moorish-Spanish sauce, with garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano and some sesame oil. It was easy and quite sensational.
Anyway, before I could start the omelette, the asparagus needed to be cooked to a certain point and I found myself waiting. It was only going to take 2 - 3 minutes and I could have spent that time fiddling with the asparagus, turning it over and fussing, but instead I pulled the small bag of broad beans out the fridge and shelled them.
Just one small task extra, which perfectly fitted in the snippet of available time. It may not seem like much and it's nothing like the multitasking I would have done in the task.
However that bit of extra effort means I have a container of broad beans, partially prepped. Which makes the decision about what to eat today, as well as process of preparing those meals, just a little bit easier.