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    "The Moment It Hits The Oil, The Whole Kitchen Smells Like Paradise": People Are Sharing The Greatest Small Pleasures That Come With Cooking

    "It's quite possibly the sexiest five words you could ever hear in a kitchen."

    I think we can all agree that sometimes cooking feels like a chore, and it can be temping to call it quits and settle for take-out. But if you love cooking, you know that the simple act of preparing and eating a home-cooked meal can also be very rewarding. So, redditor u/SigmaSixShooter asked, "What's your simple pleasure while cooking?" Here's what people said.

    1. "When I'm just sweating some garlic and onion and that smell hits. Mmmmm."

    Onion and garlic in a skillet.

    2. "That feeling when someone else walks into my kitchen and says, 'Omg that smells amazing.'"


    3. "Flipping a grilled cheese to see that it's perfectly golden brown, and then seeing the cheese start to ooze down the sides."

    A grilled cheese sandwich frying in a skillet.

    4. "The crispy layer at the bottom of a pot of rice, especially if it's been seasoned well and cooked in broth."


    5. "When I get the crispy piece of whatever is cooking. My partner plated our meals yesterday and gave me the big piece of burnt cheddar from the cast iron. Now that's true love."

    A crispy slice of lasagna on a plate.

    6. "When you deglaze the pan and it goes tsssss and it pulls up all the fond."


    7. "Chopping up a big bunch of cilantro then inhaling that delicious aroma. I love that smell so much."

    Woman cutting fresh cilantro.

    8. "It's cooking with garlic and ginger for me. The moment those two ingredients hit the oil, the whole kitchen smells like paradise."


    9. "Slicing into the jiggly, soft yolk of a perfect six-minute egg and cutting that egg into two perfect halves. Then adding it yolk-half up to a bowl of ramen, a big salad, or a piece of avocado toast."

    Soft boiled egg on toast with pancetta and spinach.

    10. "Listening to a podcast while I cook with nobody else in the kitchen. It's complete serenity."


    11. "I love finding cheap ingredients (for example, a tough cut of meat like short ribs) and making something fantastic with it through the many tricks I’ve picked up over the years."

    Bowl of pasta with short ribs and garlic toast.

    12. "That satisfying sizzle when your protein hits a perfectly preheated pan, and the smell that directly follows. It's like a mental cue that says, 'Alright! We're off and running!' But that sound...I love that part of cooking."


    13. "I weirdly love the process of grocery shopping. I find it therapeutic, ritualistic, relaxing, and even fun. For me, the process of going to the market and picking out ingredients with my own two hands (the perfect banana, the right bunch of carrots or bundle of kale) is half the fun of cooking."

    A woman grocery shopping.

    14. "I love how when I step into the kitchen to make a proper meal, my brain slows down to focus on the cooking and I stop overthinking all other aspects of my life. And at the end of that relaxing time, I get a tasty meal to boot."


    15. "Frying eggs sunny side up or over easy. It's the zen of perfecting a simple technique."

    Eggs frying in a skillet.

    16. "Being able to make good food and enjoy it with others is a beautiful feeling, especially when you can share something you love like a great wine or a new recipe. Sharing it with people creates this memory, and when you smell or taste or see that food again, it brings you back to a moment."


    17. "Clean-out-the-fridge night. Every once in a while when the kitchen is getting unruly, I tell my husband that dinner is choose-your-own-adventure, and we each just make whatever we want from what's in the fridge and freezer. It's one of the most satisfying kinds of meals to me, and has the added bonus of cleaning out the kitchen."

    Fried rice in a skillet.

    18. "Taking my sweet time cooking on a weekend. Yes, I'm going to take two hours to make supper tonight because I'll be enjoying the process at a leisurely pace."


    19. "I love the day-before-pay-day concoctions or the Sunday stew where you throw everything into a pot and see what comes out. It's the best!"

    Chili con carne cooking in a dutch oven.

    20. "Cooking for myself with no one to impress or account for. Sometimes, I love just cooking a solo meal on a leisurely night when I can experiment with a new ingredient or recipe with no pressure whatsoever."

    Hannah Loewentheil

    21. "For me, it's the smell of fresh lemon zest. I'm always amazed at how something so cheap and simple can smell so amazing."

    Hand zesting lemon.

    22. "I love that cooking provides that extra connection with my husband at the end of the day. We concentrate on what we're cooking while simultaneously talking a mile a minute, and it's lovely."


    23. "Honestly, I love chopping, slicing, and dicing. Any knife work always makes me smile, especially when you’ve sharpened your knife properly and it just glides straight through."

    Slicing tomatoes on a cutting board.

    24. "Cooking prep. The way in which you cut and prepare your ingredients matters more than a lot of people realize. It's a very 'zen' time for me, like the calm before the storm."


    25. "I love the colors of cooking — the rainbow hues of a bunch of different vegetables, the change in color when cooking spices (I'm looking at you garam masala) or the swirl of cream when you gently stir it into a sauce."

    Grilled vegetables plate shot from above on rustic wooden table.

    26. "When my husband walks into the kitchen and says, 'Let me do those dishes.' It's quite possibly the sexiest statement ever uttered in the kitchen."


    27. "Discovering other cultures through food and cooking. I may not have a Persian restaurant where I live, but I have a great Persian cookbook and have been learning the cultural recipes through it. Food is so deeply tied to culture that cooking is basically the cheapest way to travel."

    A person making dumplings.

    28. "There's nothing better than every chewing in silence (then moaning at how good it tastes). That's the best, when everyone is shutting up at the table and eating your food and loving it."


    What would you add to the list? Tell me in the comments!