With all the busyness of life these days, I understand why cooking at home is something many people might have trouble finding time to do.
After all, it does take a little extra planning and you do have to set aside a small portion of your time and devote it to making a nice meal that everyone will enjoy.
Notice however, that I didn’t say it had to be difficult or one that consumes your whole day. You can make a meal as simple as you want. It doesn’t have to be extremely technical or out of this world fancy by any means.
Now, just because I’m talking about cooking more meals at home, doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate nice restaurants. I enjoy going out to eat every once in awhile. Who doesn’t?
What I’m seeing – and although I could be wrong – is that there seems to be a movement centered around smaller independent restaurants which aren’t afraid of trying fresh new ideas.
My problem is with all the fast food and the take out, and all those prepackaged dinners that don’t do anyone any good.
Making Delicious Food at Home Doesn’t Need to be Complicated
In fact, with a little practice, you might just find out that very few things are actually as hard as you’ve been told. Some foods such as hollandaise sauce simply aren’t as difficult as they’re made out to be.
Just take your time and don’t rush things. That’s the most important thing. It’s not a contest…unless of course you’re on Chopped.
My goal is to encourage people to try some new things in the kitchen and maybe break the cycle of always buying fast food and ordering pizza for dinner that seems so prevalent in our culture.
The good news is, I think people are beginning to understand that things can and should change. I see all kinds of great new and interesting cook books.
It could be that there’s also something else going on besides trying to find time to cook a nice homemade meal. I have a feeling that some people might be a bit intimidated with the idea of cooking in general.
Perhaps they weren’t taught how to cook anything as a child or young adult and consequently went their whole lives only knowing how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
To me, that’s actually kind of sad. There’s a whole world out there full of new foods that need to be explored. The ideas are basically endless, and not being able to experience at least some of them seems almost like being robbed to me.
Cooking Delicious Food for People is Extremely Rewarding
I’m absolutely enthralled with the idea of being able to walk to the market each day to pick up a baguette and some fresh fruits and vegetables to use for dinner that night. It’s just a wonderfully idealistic thought, but I hope that way of life never dies.
I remember when I was in my early twenties, I always enjoyed cooking for my friends. The more people the better. They would gather at our trailer nearly every weekend, and I would try to make something for them all whether it was barbecued ribs or biscuits and gravy.
There’s nothing like seeing people’s faces light up when they try what you’ve presented them with. I never get tired of that feeling. I imagine it’s akin to how a magician might feel after fooling someone with his or her “magic”.
So that’s what Vanessa and I strive to continue. Most of our friends from childhood have grown up and moved on, but we still love cooking and sharing our recipes with everyone we can.
Cooking at Home is so Much Healthier for You
We live in a world full of processed foods where almost every ounce of healthiness has been replaced by ingredients with hard-to-pronounce names; ones that sound like something you might find on the blueprints for a time traveling machine.
Many of these foods are chalk full of artificial sweeteners and preservatives. I’d venture to say, that if you were to actually step back and take a look at just how much sodium goes into canned foods and frozen dinners, you’d probably be horrified.
Plopping a can of ravioli in your bowl and throwing it in the microwave for 3 minutes means you have absolutely no control of how much of anything you’re putting in your body apart from how much ravioli you want to eat.
Deciding to cook more meals at home means you have complete control of what goes into your food, and that’s a great thing.
A long time ago I learned two things. Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach because you’ll want to buy everything including the kitchen sink.
And secondly, try to stick to the outer perimeter of the store. Ninety-nine percent of time that’s where you’ll find the fresh produce, the bakery section, and the meat section.
Avoid the middle of the store as much as possible if you’re trying to stick with healthy food. The middle of the store is where you’ll find frozen dinners and the chips and sodas and other processed foods.
Constantly Eating Takeout and Fast Food Can Get Expensive
Maybe I understated that. Maybe I should say that by constantly eating takeout and fast food all the time, you’re probably wasting a good portion of your income.
Try tracking the receipts from the fast food restaurants you eat at for a month and see just how much you’re spending. They are deceptively expensive.
On the other hand, purchasing the majority of your food from the grocery store will save you a lot of money in the long run. However, with that being said, I realize that it’s more expensive to buy organic food, so you’ll need to decide what’s right for yourself.
Here’s the biggest rub of all. Eating out all the time becomes really expensive. Buying cheap frozen processed food and canned goods such as chicken noodle soup is way cheaper but simply isn’t very good for you.
I’m an advocate of living somewhere in the middle. I prefer to shop for fresh vegetables and meats and only purchase processed foods whenever there are no other options.
So for those who haven’t done much cooking at home yet, I hope this will encourage you to take a little extra time and consider making meals from home more of a priority. As you can see, it’s healthier for you, you’ll save money, and it provides you with a sense of accomplishment.
Cooking at home and spending time with your family can be an important part of the day and is a big part of many cultures. And in the end, I think that’s the way it was meant to be from the beginning.