Cooking skills are a basic requirement for a simple, healthy and happy life. I love so much about cooking and my little kitchen is my favourite place in my home. I spend a lot of time at the stove top and the sink, often hours at a time and I am happy there.
I must clarify that when I say cooking, I am only talking about basic, homestyle cooking. I have never had any training nor do I aspire to be a chef. What I am passionate about is trying new recipes, making the most out of the ingredients at hand and providing healthy, hearty and interesting food for my family that is good for the body and the soul. I think that’s what sets home cooing apart from any alternative available.
Knowing that you have prepared this meal, either by yourself or, ideally, with the help of some family members is just magic. I sometimes hear the old complaint about ‘all that effort’ or ‘i don’t have the time for that!’. Bullshit. Cooking, when you have had a little practice takes very little time and when you consider all the benefits, it’s silly not to put in a teeny, tiny bit more effort.
A huge part of my interest in cooking is being able to pass on skills and basic knowledge to Oli (and future children). Because, when I look at the supermarket shelves, those skills are being phased out fast in favour of pre cut, pre cooked, pre chewed versions of everything. It saddens me that for all the ‘convenience’ we have gained, we are losing fundamental, useful life skills.
I am guilty of buying ‘convenience’ foods, for sure. I still buy my bread at a bakery and I certainly buy pasta as well as some other products.
What I steer away from are things such as pasta sauces, frozen vegetables, biscuits, cakes, frozen meals such as lasagnes, quiches, other nondescript processed nasties. All of these products are simple to make, many of them you can freeze at home and then you know exactly what you’re eating, haven’t paid for the privilege of ridiculous amounts of packaging and transport to your supermarket and it will always taste better.
I love the temporary chaos that is sometimes involved in preparing a couple of dishes, or even one if you’re anything like my best friend, who’s fiance refers to her as the tornado in the kitchen.
Food is my way of showing my friends and family that I love them. A nice meal says so much and more than that, the process of preparing, eating and cleaning up after the meal creates an opportunity to talk, re group or reconnect. There is power in sharing homemade cookies on a picnic rug with your children or giving your partner a thermos of pumpkin soup on a cold day for their lunch.
Food is a universal language that inspires me. I hope I never stop learning new kitchen tricks and my love for making something out leftovers. Cooking is not a skill that we can afford to loose if we want any chance of a long, healthy and happy life.
Try a new recipe this week or break the habit of buying a supermarket bakery cake (take a look at how long the ingredients list is, it’s scary!). Instead, take half an hour with your kids and make it yourself and then bask in your awesomeness together, whilst stuffing your face with your fresh, homemade and delicious baked goods.
Peace and unwashed potatoes.