Monday, August 3, 2009

How much do you cook?

Today I read a really interesting article in the New York Times. Go read it, then come back.

Ok, back now? Thanks!

For those of you who cheated and didn't read it, the article is about how cooking has changed in the last 50 years. We spend less time preparing food in total, and much of what we call "cooking" now is really assembling prepared ingredients. Despite that though, reality shows about cooking are doing well and the Food Network is highly successful.

I enjoy cooking and I think I am a decent cook. However, I am not someone who comes home from a long day at work and thinks "Boy am I stressed. I am going to cook a big meal to make myself relax!" The Dude and I do make most of our own meals, but during the week we use plenty of frozen vegetables, 90 second rice, prepared pasta, and bottled salad dressing. I do like cooking from scratch and finding new recipes but it's more of a hobby than a daily routine. Part of why The Dude and I try not to eat out too much is because we definitely eat much healthier at home...even an unhealthy home meal is usually better than what we'll get at a restaurant. I definitely agree with the article that eating more prepared foods contributes to obesity.

I'm curious to hear what other people's habits are like. How much do you cook? Is it still "cooking" if you don't make everything from scratch?


Erin said...

I think it's still cooking if you don't make everything from scratch! Who has time to make homemade pasta every time they want Italian? That being said, I do like making stuff from scratch when I have time.

nujoud said...

It's still cooking. I'd agree that some of the convienence products take out quality, but others don't (pasta being a good example). I guess my cooking can be given in the pasta example. Most of the time, I use dried pasta (I don't consider this prepared food, it is still the same thing component-wise as fresh) and take a quality jar of basic red sauce and dress it up with my own spices and additions (only semi-scratch). On weekends or a nice occaision though, I'll make everything from scratch starting with the flour, eggs, and tomatos.

I would, however, never buy a can of chef boyardee though and call that dinner even though many people do.

ACQ said...

I agree about pasta. Homemade meatballs and sauce with premade pasta is definitely still cooking! There's something to be said for fresh home cooked food though.