Learn to Cook

A lot of people nowadays don’t know how to cook. Especially if they are single. The number of people who never learn to cook is rising because parents who can’t cook, often raise children who can’t cook.

Even people who have a parent who is an excellent cook, regardless of gender, are making it to adulthood and moving away from home without taking the time to learn to cook for themselves.

A lot of people also use the excuse that cooking for one is depressing or wasteful because there is always so much left over food and that it is not cost effective to waste food. If packaged properly those are not leftovers, they are convenience meals for times when you don’t want to cook or lunches to take with you to work if there is a microwave there.

The fact of the matter is that you will save a lot of money cooking at home, you will more than likely eat healthier and better, and there is a tremendous sense of satisfaction in being self sufficient and being able to prepare your own food is a big part of self-sufficiency. Also whether you are male or female, knowing how to cook can help with your dating prospects in more ways than one.

Fast food, takeout, prep foods, and junk foods; all of these are convenience foods. Normally convenience foods are high in preservatives, low in nutritional value, and are often very high in calories and sodium or sugars. A lot of people live very busy lifestyles, they work two jobs, go to school, both go to school and work, or they are a working parent. Even if you do not necessarily lead a busy lifestyle in which there is simply no extra time to be had for cooking and eating at home, there are times when you have no desire to either cook or mess up your kitchen, which also adds another household chore on to your “to do” list.

The following is an excerpt from an article on the Obesitypanacea.com website:

Quote:

“The most popular purchase, accounting for 54% of sales across all restaurants, and for more than 70% of sales in burger chains. But here’s the really interesting finding – the average meal purchased by customers in the present study contained 827 calories! Chicken chains had the highest average calorie content at 931 calories, followed by Taco-Bell at 900 calories (Yo quiero angioplasty!) and burger chains with 857 calories.”

“The authors also provide the breakdowns for individual burger chains, with Burger King rising above the pack with an average calorie content of 926, followed by Wendy’s at 858 and McDonald’s at 829 (the commercial practically writes itself – “an independent study found that McDonald’s customers purchase less calories per meal than customers at Burger King or Wendy’s”). Sandwich chains had the lowest average calorie content, with the average meal at Subway containing “just” 749 calories.”

What you get from the fast food places and the convenience foods are very high in calories, they are high in fats, cholesterol, sodium, preservatives, color additives to make the food more appealing, and other things that don’t bear mentioning. If you indulge only upon occasion in eating meals such as these then you are probably okay and you can take the empty calories because you eat healthier the greater proportion of the time. However if you eat convenience foods morning, noon, and night, or even just afternoons at lunch, you may have noticed some difficulty with keeping weight off.

Kids are kept quite busy with simple socialization and schooling and they often don’t think ahead to a time when their parents don’t feed them. Or if their parents raise them on a fast food/convenience food diet, they are very likely going to continue to eat the same way as adults, and if they are not overweight before adulthood obesity is waiting just around the corner for them. For those who can’t cook even simple things it seems inevitable that they will have such a diet and that they will struggle with their weight all of their lives.

If you take a practical look at all the money you spend in convenience stores, fast food joints, and on take out each month, you have to recognize that this is an untenable lifestyle. Even if you have no experience or skills with cooking, don’t let it intimidate you. There are all kinds of resources out there for recipes, cookbooks, step-by-step cooking show instructions, and more for people no matter what their level of cooking skill is. There are even cookbooks that are marketed for the cooking beginner and for every stage beyond.

If you seek them out there are more recipes and cooking advice out there for the taking than you could ever possibly need. There are also recipes, websites, and cookbooks designed for specific dietary needs, tastes, or ethnic groups.

There are a great many scrumptious low fat or low calorie meals to be found in these free Kindle e-books.  If you are a fairly detail-oriented person, who can follow simple instructions you can learn to cook. Some people graduate to a point where they no longer need to use a cookbook and some people will always need a recipe right in front of them to work from in order to prepare the meals described, but everyone who can follow simple instructions can create food that is edible if not perfect.

There will be mix ups, times when you forget to set a timer, or when you get wrapped up in something else and forget your food until the house fills with smoke. There will be times when despite your best efforts to follow the instructions on a recipe precisely, your result doesn’t look like the pictures that accompany the cookbook. If you have combined the ingredients in the proportions and in the way that it is described to you, more than likely the result is still delicious, it may not be as pretty as the picture, but sometimes that is okay.

Great cooks just have years of experience and they pay attention to the details and apply the things that they learn as they go along. Every good cook has to start with the basics and work their way to greatness. Everyone who cooks has burned food, over or undercooked something, misread a recipe, or forgotten a step in some process. However when everything comes together just like it is supposed to and your dish comes out perfect, even if it is just for yourself or your family, there is a sense of accomplishment and pleasure.

Get a book about learning how to cook, or even an e-book, study it, and most importantly apply the knowledge that is relevant and useful to you. There are some tricks that come only from time and experience like crimping the edge of a pie using a butter knife and one finger to give your pie crust that fancy ruffled appearance, and there are some things that become “just the way that you do it”, you will discover things about flavors, spices, extracts, fruits, vegetables, meats, and pastries and how to combine them for a taste or a meal that is 100% you.

You will probably find a “signature” dish which you either make so well or you have improved upon over time and repetition making it. When you are dating, both men and women find someone cooking for them appealing, sexy even. It is nice to invite people over for a meal that you have prepared yourself.

For individuals who either live alone or with one other person you may notice that most recipes feed 4 to 8 people. However if you break down your meats into smaller packages and either wrap them in foil or put them in plastic sealable bags before you freeze them you can half a recipe. You can make full recipes and as soon as it is cooked package up a serving in a plastic container and freeze it, and then use them for lunches or quick meals when you don’t feel like cooking.

So when you need something that you can just pop in the microwave and it’s ready to eat, it is not one of those less than healthy convenience meals. It is also much easier to stick to a diet when you prepare your own food at home. When you prepare your own food, you know exactly what is in it, and you can avoid any food allergies or adhere to special dietary needs such as low sodium or sugar free diets.