Reasons I cook (and you should too!)

My wooden spoon collection 

My wooden spoon collection 

I love cooking and I think you should too!

First, I must admit that I did not always love cooking. When I thought about cooking I thought of all of the time it was going to take, all of the ingredients I would need (and typically didn’t have in my house), all of the cleaning up that would need to take place afterward; basically, it seemed like a big chore. However, just like with all things the more you cook, the easier it becomes and the better you get! Soon it won’t take that long, you will figure out how to work with the ingredients you have, and you will learn how to clean while you go (or you have a partner who cleans if you cook.)

I encourage everyone to take some time to practice cooking. Even if it is only one night a week, I think you will find it rewarding on so many levels. Here are some of my reasons to cook; maybe one of them will be encouraging:

Cooking is a way for me to be creative. This was probably the first reason I started to cook. The first dishes I remember making by myself were soups (which is strange because I’m not really a huge soup fan.) My mother would help me prepare a pot of broth and I got to throw in whatever I wanted. This method of cooking, where you’d just use whatever you had on hand, has always forced me to think outside of the cooking box. 

Cooking is a way for me to connect to my family. Cooking has always been a very important part of my family. Even though there were times when I was growing up when my parents were very busy working and I ate more pre-made meals than my mom would have liked, it was always, always, always impressed upon me that home cooking was the preferred method.

Cooking is a way for me to connect to my ingredients. Cooking with whole foods allows me to reconnect to what is nourishing my body. In a culture where fast food/highly processed food/convenience food is idealized it is very difficult to know what ingredients are in your food. Things we eat today would hardly qualified as food not that long ago. By cooking my own food I know what ingredients are in what I’m eating.

Cooking is a way for me to appreciate what I’m eating. Since I have to spend some time putting my food together, even if it’s only a few minutes, it is generally more involved than it would be if I was just heating up some pre-made concoction. Because I had to make my meal, I appreciate everything about it more.

Cooking is a way for me to slow down. We live in such a hectic world and it’s nice to have a few moments to myself. Some people find chopping tedious, I think it can be almost meditative. You have to be in the moment when you cook, at least for part of the time.   

Cooking is a way for me to become a conscious eater. When you take the time to cook your meals from scratch it doesn’t take long before you start to think about where your ingredients came from. Soon you are not just pondering the source of your broccoli, you are wondering about the farm from which it came, the ground in which it grew, and the entire ecosystem in which it thrived.

Why do you love cooking?