Would you describe cooking as fun and enjoyable or daunting? One of my favorite health writers believes that many of our national health woes began when we as a country started cooking less and relying more on processed and take-out food of poor quality. He was on to something. I don’t want to give the impression that I cook every night. Although I did most nights when my kids were growing up, currently I try to cook a couple of times a week- and make enough for leftovers for an additional two days. In Dayton, we have some wonderful options for purchasing high quality prepared foods. I frequent the DLM soup selection faithfully! But there is no substitute for knowing your ingredients and putting together a meal.
Overwhelmed, busy, stressed… So many clients that I talk with describe their current frame of mind with these adjectives. We have all been there, life gets busy and healthy meals can be a first casualty. If you feel that describes you and you can’t remember how to turn on your stove, the answer is to start with a small goal. I recently listened to a chef describe how in culinary training they would learn a skill and then repeat it over and over again. He recommended to an aspiring cook that she learn to make a couple of dishes and practice them until mastered. I like simple dishes without a lot of ingredients because anyone can make them. My experiences with cooking began in my mom’s kitchen. But it was with a group of women friends in Texas that I learned to bake bread, and cook a brisket, and become confident in a kitchen. There was no substitute for cooking alongside more experienced cooks. Today, we have the Food Network to learn from, but I think it can’t replace working a recipe out with a friend, or even a spouse! If becoming a better cook is a goal, let me make a couple of suggestions to increase your cooking skill…
- Try a Delivery Service like Blue Apron. You will have a box delivered with all the ingredients to make a couple of meals. Delivered! Taking the grocery shopping out of the mix will add some time to your week. The bonus is, you will try some new recipes that you may have never stumbled upon otherwise! blueapron.com
- Make a once a month date with a friend or another couple to cook a meal together. It could be a fun alternative to going out to a restaurant. Keep the menu simple, add some wine if desired, and you could be on to something that you want to do regularly. You can learn from each other and together become proficient in a couple of dishes.
- Sign-up for a DLM basic cooking class. (DLM is a Dayton grocer that does it’s best to provide local, fresh and high-quality products, as well as operate a cooking school). Find a link here for classes: http://www.dorothylane.com/products/viewdepartment.pl?id=216
Need a little more inspiration? May I recommend the book, Cooked, by Michael Pollan.