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Monday, 22 December 2014

COOKING, that is.  As in HOME COOKING!  It really has become kind of a lost art form in these United States and, as far as I'm concerned, that's almost tragic.  My father was the head chef at home when I was growing up in New Orleans.  Nothing made me happier than to watch him putting his cooking skills to work in our little kitchen on St. Louis Street in the French Quarter.  Oh, I could spend the whole afternoon watching him whip, chop, slice and stir.  And every meal he cooked was, in one word, FABULOUS!  I'm telling you, watching Leonard Simmons at work in the kitchen was better than watching one of those Food Network chefs at work on TV.  And the best part is, I got to EAT that scrumptious meal my father had worked so hard preparing.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas, two of the biggest meals of the year are prepared in American kitchens.
Now sure, this time of year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, two of the biggest homemade meals of the year are prepared in America's kitchens.  But what about the rest of the year?  Well, it may depend on the age group you're talking about.  52% of people, age 65 or older, cook at home at least five or more times a week.  But only about a third of the so-called millennial generation, those people born after 1980, say they cook at home that often.  That's all?  So, what are they eating?  Well, they're chowing down on pizza, fried chicken, swigging sugar-sweetened beverages and yes,  drinking their share of alcohol, too.  Hey!  Come on boys and girls!  (I can call them that because I'm old enough to be their fathers.  LOL.)
I find that report on the millennials kind of disturbing.  I mean, after all, aren't they the same group that professes to be so concerned about processed foods while touting the health benefits of good-old fashioned, more natural home-cooked meals?  On top of that, they're the same people who claim to be concerned about their health, not to mention the well-being of planet earth.  I think those two things really go hand-in-hand.  And if you're going to preach about either, you should be practicing both, taking good care of the earth and of your body!
America, it's time to rediscover the art and, yes, The Joy of Cooking!  (One of my favorite cookbooks of all time, by the way.)  Say you can't cook?  Oh, I don't believe that.  It truly is an art form and all you've got to do is get started.  Practice makes perfect and cooking can be FUN, too!  Start with some basic recipes and it really is all about following instructions.  Hey, if you can read, you can cook!  Assemble the ingredients you'll need, along with the kitchen utensils you'll use to prepare your recipe.  Don't be scared, you can do it!  LOL.  Start with a fairly simple recipe like a soup, stew or maybe even roast a chicken.  The fun part is, once you get a little more skilled at it, you'll be able to make changes to some of the recipes you're preparing, making it more your own.  Hey, maybe you could even end up on one of those cooking show competitions on the Food Network.  They always make me so nervous.  Oh, the pressure!  LOL.
Don your aprons, America!  Get into the kitchen and start cooking more of your own meals.
And the best part of cooking your own meals is, like I've told you many times before, YOU are in charge of what goes into the dishes you prepare.  Which also puts you in charge of the calories, fat and sodium that goes into every meal you make, too.  Who needs all of that restaurant food, anyway.  Not only can it break your budget but, especially in the case of those chain restaurants, it can also bust your weight-loss efforts.  Now that's what I call a  no-win situation.
So don your aprons, America!  Get into those kitchens and start cooking more of your own meals.  It's time to rediscover the fine art of cooking.  The more you do, the better you'll get and, in the process, you'll be eating better and helping to turn that body of yours into a work of art, too!