I believe that home-cooking is a healthy and enjoyable hobby or pastime, provided of course that you know how to cook. I believe this because it is something you can learn from your parents when you are growing up. We lived in a rural area on farmland and my parents grew our vegetables and other produce for our consumption. Everything we cooked came from fresh produce, this included livestock and fresh fish caught in the local fish ponds. We understood that home-cooking was also so much cheaper than eating out at restaurants or fast food places. My parents believed in being thrifty, not only because of the scarcity of money, but also because they believed in not wasting food, and in places like these, food waste is almost a given. As a result of the practices of my parents, I have also learned to be somewhat like them. I also believe and practice their concept. Not only do I love home-cooking, I also love doing it.
When I was growing up in the Philippines, my mother cooked all the meals of the day. When there were special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, baptism, etc., people from the village were hired or they volunteered to participate in the cooking. Any member of a family, who can cook decently, would be the representative for that family; my mother would usually be our representative. There were no recipe books used, just passed down knowledge and practices of cooking derived from traditions, customs and cultures from generations that have come and gone before. Cooking was learned and
taught by the act of participating and practicing; this was how we had gained the knowledge and expertise in the art of home-cooking.
I remember when I was growing up as a little girl, my mother additionally instilled in me that the other practices I had to learn, such as washing dishes, washing and ironing clothes, cleaning the house; were all necessary once I had grown up and on my own, and she was very right. She told me that these were attributes that are important building blocks towards a fruitful life in the future. She told me that I would one day make a good wife for some lucky man. She told me that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and that saying I believe holds true in any society; there’s nothing like a good home cooked meal.
Mastering the art of good home-cooking takes time, sometimes years of practice. Without recipe books, the phrase “learning by trial and error” usually holds very true. There were many meals ruined by, over-cooking, under-cooking or just plain burning the food. Some are either too sweet, too salty, too sour or bland as could be. There were many disappointments and disgusts along the way, not only from myself but also from the recipient or recipients of my genuinely profound and fine attempts. Previous attempts have even resorted to the family opting for other ways of getting a more
palatable and desirable meal. While growing up in the farm, fast-food joints and other eateries were scarce and hard to find, so usually the next cook would take over. “Next!” As I grew older I graduated to a more refined and somewhat masterful cook and in some instances, I could have also been labeled a chef excelling in fine cuisine. Well maybe that’s taking it over the edge a bit, but I can hold my own in the kitchen arena.
All in all, I believe that home-cooking is a truly wonderful and fulfilling experience, provided of course that the meals turn out okay; more so for the person or persons you are cooking for. I derive great pleasure and happiness in seeing the happy and grateful faces of the ones I am cooking for. I get a deep sense of satisfaction when I know that I have also satisfied others, and knowing that I have not sent them to an early grave, or start them on a fast-food regimen for the rest of their lives. I believe that anyone could and should practice the art of home-cooking. Not only is home-cooking healthier, fulfilling and less expensive, but you also get to do it in the privacy of your own kitchen. Home-cooking has grown to be a real art with me, now it is more artful rather than doubtful or should I say “dudful”.
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