I’m hearing more and more about cooking being dead and people stopping completely to cook at home, and I’m pretty perplexed. I want to cook MORE things, not less, so I don’t understand the motivation. Sure, I enjoy cooking a lot, but even if I didn’t, I would rather do most things myself instead of outsourcing them. I eat out at the restaurant from time to time to get a little cooking break, but it’s definitively a luxury. I have a picky stomach unfortunately, and I never feel as good when I eat food made by someone else, go figure… Eating out every day would be the death of me.
I’m also not very good at the restaurant and cafeteria lifestyle, which means knowing what you’re going to eat and how must it will cost at the last minute. How stressful! I love coming back to my home to make a meal, knowing that I have everything to make it. I also get to relax while making supper, sometime with music or a good podcast. And if all else fail and I feel impulsive for once, I have enough food at home to make something else without having to rush to the store or being stuck in a noisy restaurant.
Some people say that cooking is too expensive: I say they don’t know how to count are unable to plan in advance. Of course, if I bought every single ingredient I needed for each recipe at once, it would cost a pretty penny. But once you have a well-stocked pantry and know how to use it, you don’t need to factor in the full cost of every single ingredient. Don’t get me started on those tiny containers, or the packs of spices good for a single recipe! I buy my spices at Costco and go through them within less than a year, so it only costs a few dimes of spice for each recipes. Combined with meat that is often bought on sale or beans, I can get a decent meal and lunches for the next day for a fraction of the price I’d pay at the restaurant.
I also don’t get that people say they don’t have enough time: I’ve always cooked most of my food since I started living by myself. It’s not like I had oodles of free time as an engineering student! I just cooked larger batches, especially during the weekend, so I had a full fridge for the week and didn’t have to make food runs while I was busy studying. I keep many of the same habits, since they served me well: a large pot of soup or of rice and beans is easy to make and will provide many meals when you don’t feel like cooking or are in a hurry. You can also use your freezer or pressure canning to “bank” some meals like meat pies to use when you’re a bit more pressed for time.
Finally, I also believe that my home is a place where I produce things of value, not only a place to sleep and wash myself. I have a decent kitchen with space to work and good tools, but I don’t want the stainless appliances and granite countertops as long as I can make good meals. This philosophy is not exclusive to cooking: my yard is also a place to grow fruits and vegetables, not the perfect lawn. Also, my personal space is overflowing with craft supplies of all kinds, too many books and not much else. Not doing anything with my hands, not even cooking, would be a depressing life to me. Making things is what makes life interesting!