Why I Do the Things I Do

I can’t answer this question about everything, but I can about making dinner for my family most nights.

1. I’m a control freak and this is something I can control. I can’t do much about 80 degree weather on March 1st or the war in Afghanistan, but I can make sure my family eats nutritious food most of the time. Eating at home and making most of our meals from scratch allows me to control what goes into our bodies – allows me to make sure our bodies have “good energy” (this is how I explained it to Luca when he was a toddler). It seems like there is a news story every day or so which convinces me this is a good thing for me to do. Have you seen the headlines about pink slime? Or Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me?

Do we always eat nutritious, whole foods? No and no. I aim for 80% of the time. And, I am always trying to cut out processed food. Right now, I am down to snacks and Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese. I still buy crackers (healthier versions, but processed nonetheless), granola bars, and sometimes COOKIES (you know, the NATURAL Oreos). A bag of potato chips occasionally finds its way into the cupboard over the sink too. The only thing that is completely off-limits in our house is soda. So, perfect we are not.

2. I’m cheap. Making our own food is less expensive than going out or buying the frozen variety. And, it tastes better . . . usually.

3. I enjoy trapping my family at the dinner table and subjecting them to my cooking. And more importantly “Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use.” Whew! It’s like the family meal is religion or something. We do not eat together every night – about 4-5 nights a week. Like everyone else, we have Scouts or school activities or yoga (ahem), but I am trying hard to maintain this as sacred time for our family.

Is our evening meal always the site of jovial chatting about the days events? No, but we keep trying.

4. We don’t eat anything that ever had a face or a butt. If we ate frozen meals or at restaurants, our choices would be pizza or pasta or pasta or pizza or fried rice. End of story.

5. It’s kind of a hobby. Or an obsession? I don’t know which – there is such a fine line between the two. I like to curl up with a good cookbook whenever possible. Trolling the internet for recipes can be a stress reliever for me. I probably spend more time on Pinterest than I should, but I can’t help it. So many recipes so little time. And, I window shop in food stores – yes, I do.

Why do you prepare meals at home?

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7 responses

  1. Wow. That just about nails it. But I’ll add that I like the opportunity to actually do something real with my hands each day–to manipulate matter instead of just symbols on a keyboard–and unless it’s good gardening weather, dinner is often my only opportunity to do that. Cooking soothes me.

  2. For me, it’s creative. A hobby. A way to control ingredients and avoid the issues that abound in our food system. It’s also a way to make my very appreciative man happy and healthy (and to make up for his years of take out foods in his terrible first marriage). I LIKE cooking…there is no drudge about it. And as we edge closer to being vegetarians, I am really enjoying the challenge of finding and making recipes where he doesn’t miss meat!

  3. Like Trudi….it’s to be creative. It’s enjoyable to cook and anticipate what a new recipe will taste like or to savor an old family favorite. I love to see my family enjoy a meal I created just for us. Audrey likes to say, “Mama did you add love to this?”

    Patrick and I love to cook together when we can. We do so most weekends. We are now branching out and trying new foods. Trying to be more healthy in the process. We do eat meat but I don’t mind eating meals without and have done so.

    I am always amazed when I have friends who dislike cooking. Those friends say they are not creative in the kitchen or even like to do arts & crafts. They just opt for fast food, take-out or use processed foods as a staple. To me what seems like a simple dish that takes little effort to create my friends claim that it’s too much effort for them…off they go to drive-thru! How boring is that! LOL

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