Why We Need To Know How To Cook
Over the years as I’ve developed my website and generated daily posts for my readers, I frequently comment in those posts that cooking is an art and a survival skill we all need. It seems cooking is a traditional skill, like sewing, that so many members of our next generation have not been taught.
With all the weather-related challenges I’ve seen on TV and been reading about lately, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss why we need to know how to cook.
In generations past people really didn’t have much of a choice, they fixed meals in their cave or hut, or they went hungry. The advent of fast-food restaurants and the convenience of drive-thru windows has drastically changed that. Many families are used to visiting a Mcdonald’s and calling their meal a healthy response to hunger pangs.
I’m so grateful my mother took the time to teach me and my sisters to cook. The kitchen is my favorite room in the house. I feel at peace and comfortable working at the counter as my fingers cut, dice, chop, peel, mix, and stir foods during meal preparation. It is truly my most cherished activity on any given day.
As someone who prides myself on being self-sufficient, and one who enjoys sharing my passion for food preparation and being prepared for the unexpected on so many levels, today’s post is from my heart as we learn together the key aspects of why we need to know how to cook. Let’s get started.
In case you missed this post, Easy Frugal Sauces You Can Make Yourself
Why We Need To Know How To Cook
Cooking at Home Makes Dealing with an Emergency Much Easier
In times of emergency, we really don’t know what to expect from one moment to the next. Stores and fast-food outlets may not be open for business due to flooding, power outages, wind damage, etc.
If we’ve prepared for the unexpected, we have food in the pantry, water in a storage tank, and devices we can use to cook a meal. It really provides not only the nourishment we need to keep going, but the confidence we can “weather” any storm.
You Get to Eat Foods You Enjoy
Just think, you don’t have to count on Taco Tuesdays or wait for Fresh Fish Fridays at your favorite restaurant, you can fix anything you want whenever you want and relish every minute of it because you’re cooking what you like, every day.
If you’ve planned ahead and shopped each week based on what your family enjoys eating together, mealtimes become more pleasant, and the kids eat what’s good for them too.
You Can Prepare Meals Based on the Special Needs of Family Members
In today’s world, it seems that just about every family has a member with special dietary needs. It could be diabetes, gluten intolerance, nut allergies, etc. If you are preparing meals at home, you have the ability, under the direction of a doctor or dietician, to fix meals that won’t be detrimental, and probably do so cheaper than if you ordered food in.
Meals Can Be Prepared Using Foods Produced on Your Property
We talk every week about gardening, harvesting healthy plants, raising birds or animals, and so much more. If you have a successful garden growing, and/or have animals you are raising to eat, there should be plenty of options available to prepare quality meals without having to always rely on the local food store.
You Know What is in the Recipes and Complete Meals Being Prepared
So many foods today are considered “processed.” From farmer to your plate there are so many hands that get involved with getting food supplies to your home. In many cases, even when you read the labels, you really don’t know what is in the food.
I have harped for years that we need to learn how to cook from scratch so we know what is included in our meals and we control content from start to finish. By scratch, I don’t mean buying a box of cake mix. I’m suggesting you pull the ingredients together from your kitchen pantry and make recipe meals that are healthy and tasty.
By knowing what is in each meal you prepared, you can feel confident that you are feeding your family truly healthy, well-rounded, and nutritious meals. I also feel that home-prepared meals actually taste better, in most cases.
Cooking Meals at Home can be an Uplifting Experience
If you do a lot of cooking at home, you gain confidence in your food prep skills. You’ll see your self-esteem soar as you watch your family and friends snarf down a delicious meal. You’ll feel even better when positive comments come your way about the flavor, texture, and artistic presentation of those meals.
Home Cooked Meals are Easier on Your Food Budget
I used to have a neighbor who loved to cook at home, but she complained about her food budget every month. One day I asked her what kinds of meals she liked to prepare. I was shocked when she started listing items Mark and I seldom buy because we feel they are too expensive. She told me how much she loved fresh salmon, t-bone stakes, fresh shrimp, and other costly items.
I’m all for fixing fancy meals from time to time, but I’m one who looks for things like case lot sales, clearance items in the meat department, buying things when in season, etc. I know that restaurants can buy their food supplies cheaper than I can, in most cases, but there isn’t any way they can then turn around and sell me a prepared meal for a price that includes their overhead, not counting tips, for what I can spend for the same meal prepared at home.
Also, Mark and I aren’t afraid to plan meals that have more volume than just one sitting. We’ll enjoy the meal again during the week from the leftovers, they’re delicious too.
My Favorite Recipes
You Can Teach Your Kids to be Good Cooks and More Self-Sufficient
I’m glad my daughters grew up loving to be in the kitchen. Most have ended up being “working moms,” but they still find time on most days to fix quality meals. I worry about today’s youth who not only don’t see their parents cooking meals, but haven’t been taught at home how it’s done.
I feel we as parents have a duty to discuss healthy eating habits, and that includes learning to shop wisely, having a weekly menu to follow so you have the right ingredients available, and then teaching them how to follow recipes so the prepared food turns out how it should.
If your children don’t learn at home, where will they? Don’t count on them taking a “home economics” class during high school or college, it won’t happen, at least in most states now. Set them up for a happy and healthy future by having them learn how best to cook at home.
You Might Even Lose Some Weight
Unless you’re one who “pieces” on the food while you’re preparing it, or overeating when you sit down to enjoy the meal, you can possibly lose some weight by preparing meals geared for healthy weight loss. Plan to eat lots of fruits and veggies, serve the meals on smaller plates so when those plates are filled, they really have less food and calories, and skip those delicious desserts we all love. It also helps to eat meals earlier in the evening rather than right before bedtime.
You Can Share Your Prepared Meals with Neighbors in Need
There really isn’t anything more gratifying than taking a hot meal to a neighbor who is ill, lost a loved one, working crazy schedules, or just needs a “lift me up.” You not only help them, but it brings joy to you and your family, particularly if they helped prepare and deliver it.
To see the light in someone else’s eyes as they contemplate eating the meal is priceless. In case you missed this post, 20 Common Kitchen Tools You Need
Why We Need To Know How To Cook
Some of my favorite kitchen tools:
As you know from reading my posts, and from my comments in this discussion, I do love to fix and eat at home, it’s just me. Tell me why you like cooking at home, I’d love to hear. May God Bless this world. Linda
Copyright Images: Means for Making Bread Depositphotos_357263786_s-2019
32 thoughts on “Why We Need To Know How To Cook”
I enjoy cooking too for many reasons. My mother didn’t cook; didn’t know how and didn’t want to learn, so growing up we ate mainly tv dinners. I started cooking at age 10 when my grandmothers taught me because they were concerned about our diets. As my husband says, I can take “a little of nothing” and make a meal from it. I’m no gourmet cook, but we eat healthy and tasty meals. Both my daughter and son are good cooks and I’m teaching the grandkids how to cook. Thanks for posting this, Linda!
Hi Paula, oh my gosh, the TV dinners, we ate those when I was growing up, not often but I remember them!!! It’s a blessing that your grandmothers taught you to cook and now you are carrying on the tradition. Way to go, my friend!! I LOVE the statement “a little of nothing”, I wish more people would realize how easy this is, but they need to want to learn. Great comment, Linda
Thanks for the interesting information. I love cooking for my family! I believe it expresses our love and devotion.for one another.
It’s fun to be creative in the kitchen and discover new recipes as well.
Hi Mary, I totally agree with you on how fun it is in the kitchen with family! It’s all about wonderful memories and working together as a family (team) complete with stirring, mixing, and laughing. Life is so good in the kitchen. New recipes are the best! Linda
I also love to cook. My mother didn’t teach me but my husbands Grandmother, Aunt and Mother taught me how to cook Southern foods that my husband loves. One thing my mother did teach me was that my kitchen was my domain. Although I love to cook with my daughter and daughter in love I still feel that way. That is one reason I don’t like the open concept in houses these days. I want my Kitchen to be one room and my dining room one room and my living room one room. That is not something I have in the house I live in now but maybe someday. When dogs fly. I can’t see someone saying we are going to build the house your son designed for you for free.. I know it will never happen.
Hi Jackie, my kitchen is my domain as well. It’s actually the most important room in the house in my humble opinion. LOL! It makes me happy to cook or bake in it!! I hadn’t really thought about the openness of the new homes, you are so right. I got the giggles reading “when dogs fly”! My dream was to build a new home with a large dream kitchen. It won’t happen, and I’m okay with that. I sold my home and we are building a smaller home but the kitchen will be the main room, it has to be for me. I want to live closer to family and friends. I miss the Sunday and weekly meals together. Southern cooking sounds yummy!! Love it! Linda
I was taught to cook from a very early age. We raised our own meat, veggies and some fruit. My mother was one who could take a very small amount of something and stretch it to feed a large family.
Cooking, baking and candy making was my mother’s mantra. She always said that if you have the basics in the pantry you could cook orbake just about anything.
Hi Leanne, I totally agree! If we have the basics in our pantry we can make anything! You had a wonderful life growing up with so many awesome experiences! How many people can say they raised their own meat, veggies, and some fruit! You rock, my friend! Linda
The schools may not teach the home economics we were taught any longer, however my grandson is in his third year of culinary class at his high school along with his physics and other main line academics. So there are some schools that have not totally given up on teaching life skills.
Hi Joy, oh my gosh, I love hearing this!!! Your grandson is awesome!! I’m so glad to hear that some schools are still teaching these skills, thanks for sharing!! Linda
I take it completely for granted. When I saw the title my first reaction was confusion, as in why would an article about this be needed. Then I realized, omg I forgot just how many ppl don’t know how to cook something other than a pack of Ramen noodles—and some don’t even know how to do that! I can make hearty ramen soup from scratch, noodles and all. Yes, I take it for granted.
Most ppl think meat comes in little pink packages and never once walked, crawled, flew, slithered or swam. Judging by comments I saw on a Pinterest post, young people were absolutely horrified by a “meat spot” in a chicken egg which was broken into a bowl for a cake.
I had the good fortune to be raised in New Orleans where both of my grandmothers were incredible cooks. My maternal grandmother was a Cajun chef by trade and my paternal grandmother was just the most amazing Italian homecook. I cannot tell you how many times I was sent to the backyard for basil, green onions, tomatoes, bay leaf, pecans, pears; we caught our own shrimp, crawfish, crabs, fish. Which, of course, we were taught to clean and cook. Later on, in my late teens, I learned to hunt and prepare venison and even squirrel. These days I don’t really hunt, I have other family members who take care of that. But I can cook just about anything and, most importantly, make due when substitutions are needed.
When my step children visit I’m often appalled that they can only use the microwave, they’re 16! But they’re learning. So yes, people today are, in my opinion, soft. They cannot function without Starbucks and McDonalds or at most those meal prep services (Hello Fresh?)
Plus I don’t have to remind you how expensive everything has become. I don’t know about where any of you live but food here in CA is insanely expensive. I went to buy green onions the other day because a few days ago something got into my entire row of green onions. About 40 onion plants are just GONE. Safeway had them for $1.39 for About 5 skinny bulbs. Literally the most expensive I‘ve ever seen—a full dollar more than usual. Hard pass. I still have a lot that I dried. Anyway, sorry to rant :). I just forget just how many ppl don’t know semolina from Shinola and would become pretty dangerous in a SHTF scenario.
Hi Marianne, you nailed it! We do in fact take for granted how to cook. I’m glad my daughters love to cook and bake. It makes me sad to think people do not learn table manners, or maybe they do. But it would be hard-driving through McDonald’s to teach them. LOL! Funny, not funny, really! Oh, life what be so awesome to go in the backyard and pick all the things you did as a child. I love my garden, some people do not find joy in gardening. I sure do! Nothing tastes better than picking or hunting for the food you want to cook! Great comment!! Thank you!! Linda
Linda, I love that you garden!! It’s an invaluable (and delicious!) skill :). As you know I’m terrible at it. I want to grow potatoes, how hard can it be?? I hear stories of planting corn surrounded by beans and squash and planting fish next to the base to fertilize. Gardening is my weakness. It would be amazing to have mature fruit trees and garden and dine on my chicken’s eggs and give them my vegetable scraps. But alas, I cannot. Yet. At my old place is forage for chanterelle, blewits, dock, berries, miners lettuce, chickweed, plantain, purslane and stinging nettle. It’s so dry here. Garden on, lady! I envy you :)))
Hi Marianne, you are so nice, I would love to forage on those healthy items. I do not have mature trees, but I wish I did! Well, I have one out front in the front year but you can’t eat it! LOL! I wonder if you need a “seed potato” that will grow where you live! I have the best luck with Yukon Golds. I just sold my home so I will be moving up north where the soil is a whole lot better than here. Fingers crossed I can get the soil up to par. I’ll keep you posted. Linda
Growing up we had a huge garden and raised meat rabbits. Sewing was a huge and necessary skill for me to learn, accordingtoy aily. I grew up just outside Minneapolis and for my age these skills were not cool…at all. By 7th and 8th grade I aced home ec with my eyes closed and was picked on for that. For some years I didn’t like my home skills but I really couldn’t hide them…they shined in me noatter what. But now, I can throw down in the kitchen and even sell breads and cinnamon rolls at our local farmers markets (and sell veggies from my garden). I’m the go to person for anyone who needs pants or a dress or even a quilt fixed. Sometimes my skills make me feel more rich than anyone I know.
Hi Jerilea, you are my kind of woman! Kids can be so mean, but if they could only see YOU now! You are amazing! Selling bread and cinnamon rolls at Farmers Market is the BEST! You rock, my friend, Linda
Food here in Northern Cali is beyond crazy right now. little bit of rain today so I thought pinto’s and ham in the crockpot with some cornbread was a good idea. I realized I didn’t have any small bags of beans so not wanting to open a large one I figured I would just grab one at the store as I needed milk and eggs anyway. 2.99 for a one pound bag of beans are they crazy? needless to say I opened one of the 20 pound bags that I probably paid about 18.00 for and took a couple of pounds from there.
Hi Poorman, wow, that really is expensive!! I’ve heard more and more people are stocking up on rice and beans and they are getting harder to find at the grocery store. Pinto’s and Ham do sound good!! Yummy! Linda
I, too, am surprised that ppl nowadays don’t cook or even know how. I’m 65 and grew up in Northern California. My parents were “hip” (but not hippies!) and did all the social gatherings, parties, get togethers, etc. I was not taught how to cook. I spent all my free time with my grandmother (from Norway) who taught me a few things but not enough, sad to say. My mother had a life-altering accident when I was 10 yrs old and it went downhill from there. She recovered, but with a permanent disability. I loved all the homey things that my grandmother represented; not the cold austere design of the 60’s (I can’t stand mid-century modern anything!). At 16 I started taking over cooking Thanksgiving dinner but it was all by trial and error. I’m self taught in cooking but hit and miss in certain things. As my children grew up, I took it upon myself to try more things. Being a single parent of 3 children, I must admit I did rely on those boxed dinners, etc. To this day, I’ll use frozen vegetables or some boxed or canned items but I totally prefer to cook from scratch. It’s definitely an initial investment to get all the basics, supplies, etc., but totally worth it. The American population first started it’s downhill slide into obesity and poor diet when processed foods became so prevalent. I didn’t figure out how to can foods until late in life and my husband, who grew up in Virgin, Utah, taught me more than I knew. He knew alot!
My one regret is that we have terrible dirt/soil and can’t grow a garden where we live. Believe me, I’ve tried, countless times! I’m so envious of those who can grow gardens. I do alot with preparedness and such but if disaster strikes, we don’t have the water sources (city water) nor the garden space. But I’ve got alot of firewood! We keep 6 cords each year for if the power goes out long-term!
I depend on this blog/site for alot of things, alot of which are the recipes. Because of you, Linda, I’ve finally mastered homemade bread, much to my husband’s delight. I’ve used countless of your recipes, too. I’m a big fan of big one-dish meals which gives us leftovers for lunch the next day. So today’s my husband’s birthday and I’m going to use one of your recipes for his cake! :o)
Hi Robbie, you made my day!! I’m so glad you love my bread recipe, I can still remember the pictures you sent me!! LOVE it!! Having your mom had a life-altering accident with you being only 10 years old, is rough. I’m so sorry to hear that. You had to grow up so fast after that. Thankfully you took the “wheel” to make Thanksgiving dinner at 16. As hard as it was, you learned so much but I’m sure it was hard. Grandmothers from Norway are awesome! I miss my grandmother’s Lefse, I love making it, but my great-grandmother made it better! OH, how I wish we lived closer, we could talk for hours. Great comment, Linda
Our children ( boys and girls) know how to cook, as many of the spouses. I started to cook at an early age because I liked to and my Mom didn’t. Cooking from “scratch” tastes better and is healthier. Canning . freezing and drying foods helps. Right now one of the large stores I shop at had signs on how many items people could purchase in one area because some are buying all the products in that area and that leaves none for anyone else. Besides, it has been hard for this store , that sells in large bags, etc. and produce for food services to get their supplies .There were indeed some empty places on the shelves. I was very surprised! People have been hording , the lady told me. Quite interesting! Signs of the times.
Hi Cheryl, I guess it’s getting hard for hospitals, restaurants, schools, etc. to get the food supplies they need. It feels so good to know how to cook from scratch, we can survive Cheryl, I worry many will suffer because they do not know how to make biscuits, bread, rolls, or whatever to fill the belly. But they need to want to cook, that may be part of it. Some do not have a mentor, they do not know how to even start. Signs of the times, for sure. Linda
I belong to a Friendship club and they had been going out to restaurants for lunch and have done this
for years. I had been wanting to back to the carry in meals. I finally won out and we have been doing a carry in. In October we are going to a restaurant because the place we have our meeting will be used. I figured up and I took
3 dishes to the luncheon for this month and spent under $10.00. There is No way I can buy a plate meal for under
$10.00. I didn’t take dishes that were out of a box, I took green beans, Veggie Pizza and sauerkraut and sausage. Now we have to go to a place where a hamburger will cost over $10.00 and fries are extra. At least when my brother and I go out to eat we go to Popeyes and get a chicken sandwich for $3,99.
I don’t know why they took Home Ec out of the school. It’s not useless skills. Kids in todays world are way to soft.
Hi June, I read a comment today that her son is taking culinary classes. They took all Home Ec and shop classes out of most Utah schools. It’s really sad. I know first hand so many kids do not have a family to show them how to cook from scratch. They love eating out every meal, drive-throughs. I use coupons when we go out, buy one get one free or we do not eat out. It’s too expensive. I love “carry-in” we call them “potlucks” here. It bugs me to pay money for something I can cook or bake better and for less money! LOL! Great comment, Linda
I am going to keep telling you this till I drive you totally crazy and you give in or block me. Lol.. my mom and grandma taught me to cook..but you have recipes that are so easy to do and very yummy ,for me or experience people to do but most of all the next generation that was not as blessed to have a teacher. You need a COOKBOOK. I’m sure nobody that reads your emails will disagree.
Hi Joakima, oh how I LOVE you, my friend!! You made my day! You inspired me again! You are so nice! I just sold my house, when I move up north, I may look at writing a cookbook! Thank you, Linda
I LOVED Home Economics! I learned to sew, balance a checkbook and cook! I took it all 3 years of high school. I am dumbfounded by the people growing up now. My Son is a terrific cook his wife only knows a few family dishes. Thankfully though My Granddaughter is learning from her Dad. I always bring her a few jars of what I canned when I go to visit. Applesauce is a big hit and really easy to make. I would love to see you put out a cookbook, it would cover the what to buy everyone for Christmas 😉
Hi Hazel, you are so nice!! You made my day! I will look at writing a cookbook after I get moved!!! Your example passed down to your son, and now your granddaughter! Proud mama and now grandma!! Love it!! Linda
I hope this goes thru, still having problems posting.
I (and all my siblings) learned to cook from scratch. Which came in when our mother got REALLY sick and passed when I was 17. I’ve taught my boys and they are teaching their kids. In fact we had Son 2’s kids overnight(DIL2 B-Day) last night and grandson 2 (10 yrs) made biscuits from scratch for dinner, I didn’t have Thyme but we used 3/4 tsp of Herbs de Provence. They were YUMMY and grand daughter 2(7 yrs) and I made chocolate peanut butter fudge from scratch for dessert. All the grands are very interested in cooking.Can’t wait till they start “creating” things on their own.
Hi Kathy, your comment went through!! Yay!! What a blessing your grandkids are to have you and your sons to teach them to cook from scratch! I love hearing this!! I love homemade biscuits, and that fudge sounds wonderful!! Great comment, Linda
What concerns me is the number of ads I see for those food delivery services – Butcher Box, Daily Harvest, etc. We went from cooking at home, to going to a restaurant, to fast food windows, to curbside pick up to UberEats and now….delivered to your door. What disturbs me the most about these commercials is the dialogue of ‘never having to shop, never having to prep, never having to cook (if they’re pop in the microwave type). We have 2020 to thank for people becoming dependent, enabled, ignorant and even lazy. These types of services do come in handy for maybe when you return from vacation and don’t have anything in the fridge, but have these in the freezer, or nights when you and your significant other get home late and don’t want to cook, etc. But to have this be the only way of feeding yourself is a bit scary.
If the SHTF and shelves are sparse or deliveries don’t get made, how do these people think they’re going to get fed? They may not even have cell phone service to order at their fingertips so they don’t have to get off the couch while watching Netflix. We are in the process of being turned into reliant on others than ourselves. When something happens, these people won’t know what to do, where to go or who to turn to as they’ll have no access to cell, internet or survival /prep skills to fend for themselves. And IMO, that’s exactly what I believe this government wants – a society of dependent, weak individuals because they will be the fastest to conform
Hi Elena, it really is sad to see fewer people cooking in the kitchen. It’s actually quite sad. Great comment, Linda