Thanks to our modern way of life, cooking has never been easier. Or more stressful.
Yes the days of women singlehandedly manning the kitchen and cooking on the hearth fire are gone but what have we replaced them with? Schedules so relentless we struggle to find time to eat, let alone cook.
Think about that for a moment.
How many of your friends and family cook most meals themselves at home?
How many grow their own food?
How many of them actually enjoy those activities?
Don’t get me wrong, I love take-out and pre-made meals as much as the next person. They’re tasty and convenient, especially after a long day of work or driving the kids back and forth between after-school activities, but there’s so much more to be enjoyed from food than just eating it.
Deep down we all know that and that’s part of why we stress about cooking – or rather, not cooking.
Even psychologists are starting to recognize the therapeutic benefits of repetitive cooking tasks like shaping dough and chopping vegetables, acts they liken to a form of mindful meditation and now prescribe to treat patients with anxiety and depression.
In a world where so many of us experience anxiety, especially those of us with children, cooking more at home may be the answer to many of our woes. Making wholesome food improves our mental health, improves our physical health, teaches our kids important life skills, is easier on the wallet, and fosters a strong sense of community when we share meals with others.
So why don’t more people cook? Why do only 10% of Americans actually love cooking while 45% hate it?
A lack of time.
A lack of knowledge.
And a lack of necessity.
The sad reality is that a huge percentage of people, Millennials in particular, don’t know how to cook. And they don’t have to learn because we live in a world where fast food and prepared meals are available 24/7. Not until kids enter the picture and it becomes cost prohibitive to eat out every meal (and apparent how unhealthy restaurant food can be) do many people even consider trying to cook food for themselves.
If you thought you didn’t have enough time to cook before having kids, get ready for a rude surprise.
And cue this blog.
About the Blog
Like many things in life, cooking is an enjoyable, stress-relieving activity when you’re good at it.
And with a little bit of practice you’ll be amazed at how little time is actually required to cook wholesome food for your family. Roast chicken with fresh salad anyone?
Being a good home cook goes way beyond recipes and knife skills. It requires kitchen organization, meal planning, efficient grocery shopping, budgeting, nutrition evaluation, meal prep timing, clean-up, the works.
Lucky for you I’ve spent years working on those things and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned. Why? Because it hurts my heart every time I hear someone say they can’t cook, especially parents who want nothing more than to feed their families healthy, wholesome food.
And once you’ve learned things like how to make fresh homemade pasta and how to not burn chocolate chip pancakes we can start talking less about the hows and more about the whys of cooking. I write what I like to call Conversation Starters, posts about the significance of food, and I really hope you’ll join the discussion fun.
Whether you’re brand new to cooking or an experienced home culinarian, there’s something here for you and your family to enjoy.
About the Cook
I’m a cook, not a chef, and with the exception of one home economics class in 7th grade, I haven’t had any formal cooking training. While my parents tried to teach me to cook as a child I was very stubborn and the most I mastered was scrambled eggs, pancakes, and chocolate chip cookies. In college I survived on rice and beans and my roommates’ leftovers.
It wasn’t until I moved to Oregon and fell in love with the Portland Farmers Market that I really started to appreciate food.
And it wasn’t until after the birth of our second child that I really learned how to cook. Sorry husband and baby #1 who had to endure years of unseasoned chicken breasts and burnt rice…
I am living proof that you can learn to cook (and cook well, if I do say so myself) entirely from cookbooks and the internet even after you have kids and your days are busier than you ever thought possible.
As far as a home cooking philosophy goes, I believe food should:
- Be made of real, fresh, and preferably organic ingredients.
- Taste good.
- Be shared with others (including dogs).
And in the spirit of full disclosure I should probably tell you I’m one of those people who drinks wine while cooking (in front of my kids, gasp!) and butchers a rooster or rabbit on occasion (again, in front of my kids, double gasp!) – I hope we can still be friends.
Born and raised in Rhode Island, I currently live in Connecticut with my husband and three kids. When I’m not in the kitchen I prefer to spend my time outside. I particularly enjoy gardening, chicken watching, hiking, and sipping chilled Pinot Grigio on terracotta verandas with stunning views.