There are many reasons that the skill of cooking should be a part of everyone’s life, even if it’s at the most fundamental level. I have selected a few that, for me, were the turning point of ‘could barely boil water’ to studying everything I could get my hands on. They didn’t all show up at the same time in my life, but each occurrence added fuel to the fire, no pun intended, that got me to this point. I’m kind of like Scarlett in Gone With The Wind who said “I’ll never go hungry again!”
Let me give you a clue. If you can’t cook, you probably will not go hungry, but there is a huge difference between not starving and getting what you want to eat when you want it. I decided to take control and do something about my “cooking impaired” status. So here are a few reason that you may find interesting.
What would happen if you moved to a new geographic area and you could not get access to your favorite type of food? That happened to me in the early ’80′s. Hands down, my favorite type of food is Italian and there were many excellent Italian restaurants in my city. I moved from South Carolina to Dallas, Texas – home of amazing steaks, barbecue, and TexMex, but not much available at that time in good Italian restaurants.
Getting a reservation at a good Italian restaurant took two or three months on a waiting list. Momma Mia, wake up call number one.
Cost of Eating “Out”
What is the average cost of a meal today for two consisting of Veal Marsala, Fettucine Alfredo, antipasto salad, garlic bread and a glass of good red wine at a restaurant? If you can get out for less than $90.00, including tip, you’re doing great. Now, cook that same meal for two at home. I just did and it cost $32.07. As an added bonus, I have enough left from the block of Parmesan cheese, the Marsala wine, and the pasta for many more meals to boot. The total prep and cook time was 47 minutes. At some restaurants, you may have to wait that long just to get your table and order your food. NOTE: Marsala wine is for cooking, not for drinking.
I know I am beating an old drum here, but cooking at home with fresh ingredients is much better for you and your family than “eating out” or using processed, convenience foods.
Out of curiosity, I checked the expiration date on a well known breakfast bar. It was three years from now! Do you wonder what they put in those things to make them last for three years? I don’t have to wonder because I know.
My ‘day job’ takes me into manufacturing plants of just about every product under the sun. Some fun to tour, some not so fun. I see a lot of processes that people who consume food should never have to see.
Processed food not only costs three to four times more than fresh ingredients, just think about the methods these ‘foods’ travel through to become the end product that you buy from the grocery store shelf. I will not name names, so you manufacturing guys can quit checking your Visitor Log-In Sheets.
A good rule to follow is fresh first, frozen second, canned third and processed NEVER. If an ingredient does not look anything like it should, don’t use it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a ‘puffed cheese snack tree’ have you?
Make Cheese Straws from scratch. It’s easy to do using natural ingredients. Every person that cares about their health and their families’ health should examine their attitude regarding an absolutely necessary part of life. You’ve gotta eat! How you choose to approach that subject is, obviously, up to you.
Cooking does not have to be drudgery. It’s a lot of fun and exciting when everything turns out to your expectation. Start small with things you can manage and then build your knowledge about cooking healthy dishes to add to your arsenal to fight against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and all the other illnesses plaguing today’s generation.
If a food product wasn’t available 100 years ago, you probably shouldn’t eat it now because it is a man made ‘food’ and not NATURAL. Natural is healthy, processed is not. Don’t substitute convenience for good health.