Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why We Should Be Cooking at Home

I have a real love / hate relationship with my kitchen. Sometimes I love cooking. I love creating something for the people that I love. It feels like making something healthy and delicious for them is the ultimate act of service and love. I really do feel that way sometimes. We'll sit down to dinner and I can feel the tears behind my eyes because I am so grateful that we are gathered around the table, that there is food upon it and that I was able to create this moment and this nourishment for my family. (Anyone feeling those things would love being in their kitchen) ... and then.....

There are many many nights (and days) when I swear I am going to lay down on my covered in crumbs kitchen floor and jab myself to death with a rubber spatula if I put another plate of food in front of another ungrateful soul that declares that on the third Wednesday of the month they no longer eat cheese that has been shred diagonally and that I am a terrible mother for not knowing this! And also, why can't we eat Mac and Cheese from a box like all the kids whose mother's actually love them and my feet hurt and I've already loaded (and unloaded) the dishwasher three times today because who ever had the chore last night didn't do it because They were out having fun (uh.. what's that?) and the person who has the chore today cannot be expected to do a chore that was someone else's who didn't do it. ( I am choosing to use a rubber spatula as my death weapon because it is a lot less painful and quick of a death than being in the kitchen with my family for one more second - and also, I don't want a baby / toddler to get a hold of the knife after I am gone and hurt myself, because I know that nobody is going to pick it up off the floor - they'll probably just step around my body for weeks!) (Anyone feeling these feelings would hate being in their kitchen.)

I have both, I won't say that I have them both in the same day, but I sure as heck have them during the same week. But even on those worst days, I have a decent little fit and then I become more determined to keep at it. I KNOW that this is best for my family, and even if I want to kill them, I also want them to grown up and be healthy and happy and have a really positive attitude towards food.

I Believe the Children are our Future: Whitney Houston said it best.  There is really not a lot of hope for us. We are the fast food generation. We've been brain-washed by Big Macs, we have high fructose corn syrup flowing through our veins, we aren't suppose to live as long as our parents and we are at risk for serious diseases that we are causing ourselves to have. But I'll be Darned!! if life is going to be that way for my kids! I want them to crave healthy food. I want them to have a desire to be active. I want them to feel good because they take great care of themselves. I want them to live longer and happier and better than I have. And they can go kicking and screaming all the way, but there is going to be a salad on the dinner table instead of a bag of chips.

I Like to Save Money to Spend on Stuff I Like: There is no way around it. Cooking at home is cheaper than eating out. It doesn't matter if you go out to a restaurant or you hit a drive through, Making something (anything) at home is going to cost you less. When you go out to eat, you are paying for the restaurant to keep the lights on, you are paying for all those employees, you are paying for a profit for the owner, you are paying for napkins and dishwashers and advertisements in the local paper. Seems like a lot of extras for a plate of spaghetti that you could have made at home, right?  What about prepared / convenience foods at the grocery store? You are paying for processing and packaging. You are paying for that food to travel farther across the country (or around the world) than you ever have. And not a dime of that makes the food more nutritious, taste better or more filled with vitamins. I have a family of 8 that I feed almost every night of the week. 5 of those appetites are adult sized. It costs my family 20$ to buy the cheapest pizza meal possible. Chinese take-out costs 35$ and a fried chicken dinner almost 40$. I also live 10 minutes away from my towns restaurant hub. I can make a whole LOT of food faster, cheaper and better than eating out. (But there are still LOTS of nights, that I have to remind myself of every single one of those things) So I like to ask myself, would you rather not cook dinner or would you rather have ______.   I would almost almost always rather have ______.  I like stuff. I just sometimes don't want to be bothered with cooking. And my kids are just as content to turn their noses up at fast food french fries  as they are a grilled cheese sandwich at home.

It is Safer: I'd much rather have my own germs than someone else's. Follow the basic food handling rules, you'll be doing yourself and your family a huge favor in preventing food borne illnesses.

It Tastes Exactly How You Like It: You like spicy, you can make it that way. You want extra tomatoes. Go ahead and add them. One of the best things about cooking at home is you can make it exactly how you want it. My husband loves garlic and onions, I add them to everything and he thinks I am the best cook in town. (and I'm not!) But I just make it how he likes it.

It Feels Good (Most of the Time): Feeding the people that you care about really is a good feeling. Standing in the kitchen and scrubbing potatoes for dinner or washing dishes after develops connections that will last far longer than that night.