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Why Do You Cook?

I spend a lot of time talking to folks about what prevents them from cooking. . . the many barriers, challenges, hurdles folks  face daily. But since my goal in life  is to have cooking be a regular, rewarding, fun and creative part of people’s lives, I think a better question to you, all of you, might be why DO you cook?

It’s a similar shift my brother has applied to  his study of home energy use. People always study the homes that waste a lot but no one seems to think of studying the folks who use very little. So, study/talk to those who are already doing it and see what we can learn to help the rest of us along.

So, why do you cook? Please comment below.

As for me . . .

Sometimes I cook because it’s a way to get a break from my tired and cranky five-year-old. . . .if my hubby is home or I can get him, the 5-year-old, to play by himself.

Sometimes I cook so I can cook with my five-year-old.

Sometimes I cook because a once-lovely bunch of kale is about to go bad and I’ll feel guilty if I don’t use it up.

I cook so that I can justify my baking habit (to myself).

Sometimes I cook because I love the challenge of making something with seemingly nothing and feeding the family on it well without spending much of anything.

Usually I cook because we need to eat, of course, but even though I may not want to, the process usually expels any crankiness I started with.

Sometimes I cook because the pot of mint that seems to be growing by the hour in my backyard inspires me to use up that bedraggled half of a cabbage in the vegetable bin in the form of a slaw.

Sometimes I cook because I need a gift for someone.

I cook because I like to garden and I like to garden because I love to cook!

I cook because it makes me feel useful.

And regarding that point about cooking so I can justify all my baking. .. recipes like this are exactly why!

And regarding that point about loving to cook. . . here you can watch me making one of my favorite weeknight,  kid-friendly and crowd pleasing dishes; part of new project called Food Farmer Earth.

Happy May and happy cooking!

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Debbi Gilbuena #

    What a wonderful topic. Here is a brief reflection of why I think I cook:
    First, I cook for stress relief. Secondly, and probably somewhat related to the first, is that I cook as a way to be creative. I love art in all forms. Unfortunately, most days I find myself much too busy to practice my artistic skills by drawing or painting or what have you. However, like you said we have to eat. So, cooking affords me the opportunity to express myself artistically in a way that also contributes to the huge list of things I need to do. Reflecting a little more, another reason I enjoy cooking is because I can share food with people; it’s a way for me to give my time. I don’t cook as much when I’m eating alone.

    May 2, 2012
  2. I like your blog as it reminds me of myself from the time my four children were small. It seemed like half the time I was rushing around trying to come up with something tasty that would feed my family with very little money. My husband was in college after serving in the Army in Vietnam. Cooking has always been my passion even when I didn’t feel like cooking that day or night. I think you feel the same way. No matter what, the mind and body need nourishment and we never take that lightly.

    May 2, 2012
  3. Catherine Levi #

    Not to sound to grievously serious, but the person who cooks, and the person who does the food shopping/growing, is really responsible for the health of the family. I believe we are all very aware of this now. Of course, cooking and sharing food are also great (daily) pleasures!

    May 2, 2012
    • Indeed! I think it is actually serious business and a great pleasure, as you say. But there are so many barriers these days that we have to think creatively about all the reasons and ways people can be inspired to do more of it.

      May 2, 2012
  4. Catherine Levi #

    I did mean too!

    May 2, 2012
  5. Catherine L #

    I cook because it is a stress relief. I enjoy the creativity and the art of cooking. Since taking your classes, I am getting to be more creative by applying what you teach to make new meals. I cook because my goal this past year is to cut out processed foods and use things in season. And to taste what food is supposed to taste like. To introduce my family to GREAT food and experience GREAT food. I cook to see the pure joy on their faces. My family appreciates what I cook and it is great joy for ME that they have food that I chose for them and their health. I guess in the end, it’s all about me. LOL Boy that sounded like a six year wrote that response.

    May 2, 2012
    • I love what you said Catherine (and that your post followed another Catherine L:) and it did not sound like a six year-old wrote that! The pure joy and appreciation of those for whom we cook is vital and I didn’t mention that in my post. Ellis is in the habit (for some reason) of thanking me for making dinner almost every night these days. Practically makes me cry each time.

      May 2, 2012
  6. Karen Farmer #

    Aw…five-year-olds can be such dears at times! Family has always been the reason I cook, starting when I was 8. My working mother would phone me instructions, like scrub four potatoes and put them to bake. As my brother and my parents ate those potatoes I wasn’t proud of my cooking, and I’m not today. It’s more primal than that, the warm glow of nurturing people I love.

    May 2, 2012

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