Let’s talk about cooking. Cooking requires time, ingredients and the desire to create something, if not delicious, at least edible. I asked people what holds them back from cooking at home, and the most common responses were lack of time and lack of know-how.
We live in an amazing time regarding food. Our choices are unlimited. We can go out to eat and almost any food is available, prepared and served to us. Or we can buy any ingredient, even if it’s not locally grown, and make a beautiful meal. But, whichever choice we make, we pay – whether the currency is time or money.
I choose to pay in time. It’s a luxury, just like any other. For me, cooking is a joy. It’s one of the only activities I do that allows me to focus on one thing. It’s meditative, and it lets me be creative.
Let’s talk about lack of time. Good cooking doesn’t require hours in front of a stove. We have crock pots, microwaves and even electric pressure cookers to cut down on time spent actively cooking. It takes 2 to 3 minutes to steam frozen broccoli in the microwave. A 4-pound pot roast cooks in about 45 minutes in a pressure cooker. And 4 boneless chicken breasts can be ready for your plate in about 3 hours using a crock pot. Soups, desserts, and sauces require more attention time, but cooking doesn’t have to be a soul sucking, weekend consuming activity.
For example, most weeknights I don’t start cooking dinner until my husband calls me to tell me he’s heading home from work. His commute is about an hour-long. Dinner is ready within 15 minutes after he walks in the door. Sometimes it’s spaghetti, other times it’s French Onion soup, but there is real food on the table.
Lack of know-how is fairly simple to overcome. If you want to learn to cook, all you need is a recipe, a grocery list, and a sense of humor. When I first started cooking, there were absolute failures that no one would describe as food. Those mistakes were promptly thrown in the trash, and we had sandwiches or ordered pizza instead. But there were also successes, and those gave me the confidence to keep trying.
My 15-year-old son made Sunny Side Up Eggs and pan-fried toast this morning. He is just beginning to learn to cook. The underside of the eggs was a little brown, but he said his breakfast was delicious. And he was proud of himself for trying to cook something himself.