In 2011, I wrote a blog on the Huffington Post titled: “Cooking Can Save Your Life”. Here’s the rationale. Because food in our society has become an industry, it’s getting more and more challenging to buy real food outside of our homes. What I mean by this is that, unfortunate as it my be, we can’t depend on take-out or restaurant food or prepared dinners, or even much of the food we find at the grocery store (yogurt, granola bars, cereals, and soy milks are all processed).
We can’t eat real without cooking! That’s to say, eating outside the home and eating real food are mutually exclusive.
In my home, I try to cook as much as possible, but within reason. Life can’t be about being in the kitchen all day long (as some of our ancestors might have done). We all have other commitments and interests.
Yet, I don’t think we’re giving home-cooking the respect it deserves, especially since it gives so much back. It’s a gift to be able to nourish our families. It’s a gift to put a dish in the oven and a half-hour later, to be able to devour it in our PJ’s if we want to. It’s a gift to be able to cook a beautiful chicken soup when our loved ones aren’t feeling well. It’s a gift to be able to make them smile through food.
In the era of Facebook and Twitter, we may undercutting cooking as a waste of effort, a passé task suitable for a stay-at-home mom or dad, an antiquated past time fit only for the financially independent, or maybe a undertaking that should be modernized to be less time-consuming.
Yet cooking isn’t for the meek, the weak, or the lucky. It’s for anyone who wants to live strong, eat deliciously, and be empowered.
It’s all about prioritizing. As a woman and mother, I certainly advocate for women’s rights, in the corporate world and elsewhere. But I’ve also learned over the years that striking a balance between my professional life and my time in the kitchen is key. Yes, it may be harder to take pride in work that’s more solitary and for which a paycheck doesn’t come rolling in, but it’s a function that is more than deserving.