Quick Recipes and Easy

Why We Cook

It’s fascinating really, all the reasons I can come up with as to why we cook. If you look back into ancient times, people cooked to survive. Would you eat raw buffalo? How determined they were to make a fire by rubbing two sticks together and then making contraptions to make a spit to roast the catch of the day. Back in those days, cooking was a full time job just to get a single meal on the table (did they even have tables?). Surely, if I had similar circumstances, that is to have to live without my 101 kitchen gadgets (Yes, they call me “gadget girl”. In fact, I get kitchen appliances and such as birthday, holiday, even anniversary gifts from my husband each year and my girlfriend yells at him each time. But truly, I questioned for these gifts…he wasn’t TRYING to keep me in the kitchen! I don’t do diamonds unless they come in a knife sharpener or something similar. But I digress.

Why else do we cook? Some say they cook to impress others. If you prepare a meal for your girlfriend or boyfriend during courtship, they are sure to be swooned by your culinary skills. I remember when I was dating my husband he would invite me over to his house for an authentic Chinese dinner. He would cut up all the vegetables perfectly, make his marinade, and toss everything in his newly bought wok. How impressed I was! You don’t only get to a man through his stomach. He certainly got to me by demonstrating his cooking skills. He made my image of the perfect husband.

Here’s a basic reason why we cook, because we need to eat. Another is that we want to be sure we know what our families are really eating and that they are eating healthy. Sure, we can go out a get a bite to eat at a local quick-food establishment or take the time to be served at a local restaurant, but do you really know what you are getting? Is it really nutritious and healthy? Obesity is becoming one of the major reasons for premature death. If cooking for ourselves to assure a healthier life isn’t reason enough to do it, then I don’t know what is.

Although there are many more reasons why people cook I want to point out why I believe we “should” cook at home. Cooking is a fantastic way to demonstrate how much we care about those we serve and the fantastic amount of satisfaction it gives us when you know they appreciate your efforts. There are also numerous side benefits to cooking at home two of which are to eat healthier and to spend more time with the family around the dinner table to talk about the day’s events. Studies have shown that families who regularly cook and eat together have more pleased marriages, improved children’s health, and stronger family ties. Taking time to plot, shop and make a wellrounded, healthy meal is the greatest demonstration of like and devotion. Although I find the unending list of tasks associated with preparing daily meals somewhat daunting at times, I truly delight in the process. And, after that first taste, if I hear, “Gee Mom this is really excellent!”…Wow, how fantastic it feels to know the fruits (no pun intended) of my labor are appreciated and that my family is gaining profound benefits.

Positive feedback from those you cook for can provide you with a “can-do” cooking attitude. My grandmother was a constant source of feedback for my culinary creations when I was young which is how I reckon I got hooked on cooking for others. Once you start to get that kind of feedback, it’s addictive. You start to challenge yourself by making even more complex creations time and again. The more they like what you cook, the more you cook. It’s really hard not to want to hear positive comments on each and every dish, which then makes one want to try harder to please. You see where I’m going with this? And, if you know they are really eating well and enjoying these culinary moments, you know you did your best to thwart the terrible diet demons.

If you don’t already cook or perhaps you only cook occasionally, you probably haven’t felt the incredible sense of gratification it brings. Today, many of us are time-starved and therefore the best we can do is grab the phone and order take out. But next time, before you reckon about ordering that mystery food, realize that many recipes today can be completed in 30 minutes or less and that they taste much better! There’s many a cookbook, magazine and TV show to prove it. Simply browse your favorite on-line bookstore or recipe website and I’m sure you will find a gazillion books with 30 minutes in the title.

No time for browsing you say? Okay, here’s a few of my favorite recipes that can be place on the table start to end in no time. Whoever gets to taste these culinary creations you’ve prepared will no doubt feel special that you took the time (they don’t need to know it didn’t take all day) to make something wonderful for them to eat. I know that once you hear their “oohs and aaaahs”…you too will start to get hooked on cooking. You will start to realize that cooking can be a pleasure as well as a necessary part of our day.

About Chef Lia Soscia
Lia is a personal chef and owner of Home Cooking Consultant Personal Chef Services located in Long Island, New York. Personal Chef Services include dinner preparation, private cooking lessons, recipe research and recipe testing, personal cookbook publishing, and kitchen organization and design consultation. ChefLia.com ChefLia.com

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