Food is such an essential part of our lives. Cooking is a survival skill, but it can also be a passion. The love and effort that can go into cooking even the simplest dish can shine through to the recipients of this food. By showing respect for your ingredients and paying attention to some small details, you can make the very most of your food no matter what ingredients to which you have access.
Is fresh basil something you cook with often? Put a bunch of fresh basil in a glass. Pour enough water in to cover up the stems. Just set it on the counter top, and it will be good for several weeks. Change the water once in awhile, and before long roots will even form on the basil. Trim your basil plants back a bit to encourage new growth, and keep enjoying your basil for a long time.
When working in the kitchen, make a conscious effort to clean dishes as soon as you have finished with them. Keep soapy water on one side of the sink and use the other side to rinse your dishes. It is much easier to wash out prep dishes that have just been used.
It is important to test the heat of oil before using it to pan fry your food. Pouring the oil into the pan and then sprinkling it with water should give you a series of cracks or sparkles. If it does not, then the pan isn't currently up to frying or heating capacity and dumping the food in it will act closer to an oil sponge than a frying pan.
Cooking is an activity that is what you make of it. You can either let it be a chore or enjoy it as the creative process it is. Cooking can be very satisfying. The creation of an edible piece of artwork that started as such a different ingredient can be an almost miraculous event and is as rewarding for the cook as it is for the person who eats the final product.