Sometimes relationships get a little stale. Your culinary skills get pushed to the side as homework piles up, and in turn, the take-out boxes pile up too. If you're interested in learning how to nourish yourself from your own kitchen, read on. This is a mini relationship counseling session for the match made in heaven -- you and your kitchen.  

Step 1: Purge

Jocelyn Hsu

Sometimes the most overwhelming task of a project is not knowing where to start. So, get back to basics and re-organize your stock. Not only will it make finding everything easier, but you’ll finally realize what you actually have on hand. If you’re allergic to something in that old can of soup, get rid of it. Think you don’t like Indian dishes? Hold on to that can of coconut milk for a bit longer, you might whip up a curry dish you never knew you would like.

Check out all the expiration dates to avoid any mishaps and donate to your local food kitchen if you have too many non-perishables you can’t make use of. Make sure your kitchen is clean and safe as well. Basically, make sure you’ve cleared up any conflicts with your kitchen; relationships aren’t buil on shaky foundations. 

Step 2: Treat Yourself

Johnson Bros England 1883 "Indies" Plate

iriskh on Flickr

No, not to a homemade cookie (at least not for now), but to something to enhance your kitchen space. It doesn’t have to be a brand new refrigerator, something as simple as a funky serving platter you’ve been eyeing or some cute mason jars could be enough to inspire you. This is like buying your significant other some flowers. But giving them something non-material is even better, like quality time or your attention. Which leads us to the next step...

Step 3: Pay Attention and Get Curious

Cookbooks

Katrin Gilger on Flickr

There’s something to be said about straight-up listening, whether you let your friend rant about her horrible new job or your partner discuss their weird conspiracy theories. It’s important to show you care by putting in the effort. So, put some time into giving your kitchen the attention it craves; re-discover it.

Pull out grandma's old cookbook and test some recipes even if they seem daunting. Google what that weird spice in the back of your cabinet is typically used for. Introduce yourself to the instructions for that cool blender you haven't used since Christmas for to make some speedy snacks. You’re bound to get excited.

Step 4: Start Small

Elizabeth Layman

You can’t expect massive changes overnight (especially not in relationships), so don’t get down on yourself if you aren’t meshing with your kitchen right away. You don’t need to be whipping up some next-level crème brûlée in the first week, you only have to start.

Pick a recipe and make sure you have all the ingredients and culinary tools on hand so you can skip a late-night trip to the corner store for overpriced flour. If a new appetizer in a magazine has been on your mind, try that. Make a snack for you to bring to school or work. A four-course meal can wait.

Step 5: Study Up

Elizabeth Layman

One of the most daunting things I noticed about the culinary world is how in-depth you can get. There’s about million different ways to ice a cake apparently (thanks, Instagram) and too many recipe variations to sort through on Pinterest.

Educate yourself and become familiar with any must-have items.  If you're a fan of fondue, nail the basics before you get into the bizarre stuff. Whether you pick up a culinary book from the library or explore on google, you're bound to learn some tips and tricks that will only enhance your kitchen relationship. 

Step 6: Enjoy Your Relationship

Don't give up on your relationship. You'll learn more about yourself too. Reconnect with these steps and you'll be well on your way to culinary marriage. Or at least, a life-long friendship.