This has to be my final post on why we don't cook. Much had been said here and here, along with some practical ideas we can adopt. Or try at the very least. I can't think of much else to help ourselves so here's my last shot at it.

I've Never Cooked All My Life

Sad but true: some of us grew up not having done anything in the kitchen. By the time we left home, we relied on street food. Then we got married, have kids, and eventually find ourselves cornered because either we care about what our kids eat, or we find eating out a logistical challenge. But we never really learned how to cook. So how? What do you mean how? 
Learn. Consider ourselves lucky with the internet and food shows (and even food channels) on TV. Start somewhere: Jamie Oliver's nice collection of videos on kitchen basicsBon Appétit's cooking tips; I also love Chow's "You're Doing It All Wrong" videos for a good laugh if nothing at all. As for recipes, there're more blogs out there than we'll ever imagine with beautiful photos to keep us inspired: USA-based Simply Recipes, Rasa Malaysia, Steamy Kitchen, She Simmers; closer to home we have The Little Teochew, Noobcook, and the recently-resurrected Chubby Hubby. Take your pick, whichever rocks your kitchen. Once the family has identified a favourite, keep perfecting it.

Talk about it. Some of us love cars and golf so much there's no end to it once the conversation starts. We'd go on and on about tennis, music, the neighbours (!) so why not talk about home cooking experiences too? I'll never forget the afternoon when S and M were at my place for lunch, we started talking about custard puffs, left the flat for the Cold Storage across the street, came back with butter, flour and eggs, and S showed us there and then how easy it was to make them, and by 4pm, guess what we had for tea? That's easily eight years ago but I still remember. Why talk about Malaysian politics when it does nothing but causes indigestion?  
I Don't Have Time

Ah. We've all used this line many times in life for things which are clearly not our utmost priority: church, gym, health check, catching up with those who matter, lending a hand to our local community. Cooking? Nobody has time. But some of us make time because we appreciate the simplicity and quality of dinner at home. I mean, who enjoys getting caught in traffic only to arrive at a carpark that is nearly filled up, and then show up at the eatery for more queueing and waiting for food? The thought of someone messing up our order or not treating our food with care? And we have to pay for all these? No wonder we don't have time for anything else!

Make time. If we keep a well-stocked pantry of various canned and dry ingredients, we get a lot of mileage throughout the week. Assorted pastas, rice, canned vegetables (tomatoes, corn kennels, mushrooms, peas), oh wait, perhaps I'll share my list of pantry items with you in my next post. But the onus is on us to first mentally commit ourselves to more meals at home, so that we can plan everything else thereafter. Imagine your kid tells you he has no time for homework or revision. It's the same: one just has to make time for these because they matter. Remember it doesn't have to be a fantastic meal because fantastic will come naturally with time. We just need to make that time for the good things to happen. 

Get motivated. What does one do with the latest Sportster at home? Take it out for a spin of course! Make that MANY spins! How about that prized handbag which one has finally landed? Go to town with it, no? Why don't we do the same in our kitchen with cookware and tableware we really love? Buy them! Commit to them! Make use of them! Honestly, I have more cherished items in the kitchen than in my wardrobe. There's no denying it has somehow contributed to my interest in cooking at home. It doesn't have to cost a bomb just as long as we love and use whatever we buy to death. And then we think of more ways to use them. 


08/11/2012 16:30

this was the reason why I don't (didn't) cook. I just never got to. My mum/the amazing street food culture we have in singapore fed me well. I first learnt when I went overseas to study, and HAD to learn. So glad I did.


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