Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where Have All The Cooks Gone?

I'm very excited that today I'm getting a rare opportunity to "go out with the girls" and attend the Taste of Home Cooking School. It may not be the kind of cooking I do on a regular basis, but there are always new ideas to be had at an event like this! And to make this even more fun, my oldest daughter and her friend are joining us! I love that she wants to know how to cook and cook well. Some young man is going to really be blessed to have good meals one day!

Photo Credit: SabrinaDan Photo

Sadly, food preparation from scratch is not in vogue in today's modern society. I was chatting by email with another blogger this past week and she shared that her church had planted a garden and when harvested, shared it with the needy. Great idea you say? An unforseen problem arose that might surprise you... 

...it seems that the recipients did not know how to prepare fresh vegetables. Grant it, some did not have the means to prepare it due to lack of tools and facilities, but I was slightly shocked that some did not know what to do with the food and therefore, could not benefit from it. 

In my mind, I kept thinking that this would be the case someday if we did not make a specific plan and effort to pass this knowledge on, but I did not realize that we had actually arrived at this point in our "homemaking history". We're there... and it's sad.

For many in this day and age, cooking consists of opening a can or box, adding water, and microwaving something that sort of resembles food. And at least 3 or 4 nights a week, the meal is from some establishment other than the family kitchen. I wish I had statistics on this, but it's almost cheaper for a family to eat off a dollar menu or get a bunch of 89 cent tacos than to purchase healthy food at the store and prepare it. And why should they when they're so busy? There just doesn't seem to be immediate incentives to preparing food from scratch... and we're an immediate society. When we're hungry, we want our food NOW and not in an hour. (Okay, I hope everyone knows I'm speaking in general terms when I use the term "we").

Food from scratch has so many more benefits, but few are obvious and so immediate. Years ago there was no choice but to be patient and cook your meals from the garden bounty or the kill brought home at the end of the day. Today, one must appreciate the merits of the entire process and focus on the outcome in order to willingly sacrifice the time and energy to make such a commitment. But what is gained is priceless...

• patience
• diligence
• work ethic
• culinary skills
• healthier choices
• food prepare with love 
• strengthened relationships with family members as you co-labor in the kitchen
• a sense of belonging while feasting at the table
• peace as you slow down to participate in this process

And if you garden and grow the food, the list is expanded even more!

My spirit grieves for those who are missing out on these things! How do we change the tide when the current is so strong and the journey up river? Perhaps we can't reach everyone. But we can preserve it in our own homes and reach out to those who are searching. We can pass a legacy of "slow food" prepared from scratch to our own children. It will make a difference to them.

I've only scratched the surface of this issue and if you have any thoughts on the topic, I invite you to share your comments and encourage!


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