Recipe for Home Cooking

by Jan


I recently read an article: “The Truth About Home Cooking” by Mark Bittman (Time 20/10/14), and “Does Cooking Matter?” by Rebecca Huntley (Penguin Specials). I also know people who don’t cook a lot at home, and think it’s cheaper to eat out.

Here’s a recipe for a home-cooked meal taking into account these two essays:

Try to be realistic with your ambitions and expectations. Cooking a simple meal is not that hard.

Information and Recipes: there’s no shortage of these in books, mags and websites. Or you could ask your parents and wider family. Don’t be too ambitious; complicated recipes can be scary for novices. Remember glossy photos don’t make a tasty meal.

Time allocation: Again be realistic. Excluding shopping, you could probably get something easy on the table in say 30 minutes, using fresh vegetables. Less if you ask you family to help you with simple tasks.

Planning: You will need to think ahead about what you will have for dinner, taking into account what in the fridge needs using up, and what’s affordable. Look up recipes using these items. Longer recipes can be left for the weekends.

Cooking is boring? Get a good radio program or some music on. Or swivel the TV around to face the kitchen. Pour yourself something delicious to drink.

Health considerations: Bittman says cooking real food is the best defence against obesity, and diabetes etc. Processed foods contain too much salt, sugar, fat and additives.

TV: Remember food programs are entertainment, not cooking replacements; nor are they there to make you feel inadequate. Don’t be scared off by celebrity chefs.

Satisfaction: Cooking is therapy without the problem; enjoyable achieving a success and being thanked for it; knowing that your body will also thank you too!

Foods: Buy foods which are seasonal or on special; they’re usually cheaper.

Don’t contradict yourself:  Bittman’s observation is that only 1/3 of young people cook at home regularly. And they’re the same cohort which complains about junk foods, filling up blogs with photos of dishes, expressing concerns about health and the well-being of the planet.

“If these are truly the values of the millennials, then their behaviours don’t match their beliefs”.

To me cooking is like therapy without the problem.

Now, stir this all together, and pop it in the oven to reflect on it a bit !!