Do You Enjoy Cooking? by Kathy Smith

Do you enjoy cooking? Some of us would immediately say, “Yes!” However, if you’ve served the leftover roast three different nights, can’t stand the thought of another egg dish, and have no idea fortonight’s supper, you might say, “No way!”

Cooking is so personal. It depends on many different factors—you and your family’s likes and dislikes in food, what you have available(like a garden or meat in the freezer), your income, how many people you are cooking for, and how much time you have to cook. Whether or not my family likes a particular food plays a huge part atour house. However, tastes do change. When my husband and I were first married he refused to eat onions. Gradually he started to enjoy them and now loves them.

As kids we had to “clean up our plates” and that meant eating everything including liver which my younger sister still won’t touch. But kids today should be encouraged to “try a bite” of new foods and not be allowed to say, “I don’t like that” before they even try it.

If you are lucky enough to have space and time for a garden that will definitely help your cooking. It seems like nearly everything tastes better when it is fresh from the garden. Kids who have helped plant yellow summer squash and watched it grow are more willing to try eating it.

The amount of money you have to spend on groceries makes a huge impact on what you cook. If you’re trying a recipe that calls for lots of expensive ingredients, you better hope that the family loves it!  Of course that means there won’t be any leftovers.

My mother-in-law cooked for a large family nearly all of her life. She said one of the hardest things she ever did was learning how to cook for only two. She always ended up making too much of everything when the kids grew up and left home.

Finally, do you even have time in your busy schedule to cook? If you are one of the many people trying to juggle work, baseball practice and games, homework, etc. you want to get the family fed, but how? Crockpots, meals that only take three or four ingredients and 20 minutes to cook, ordering pizza or going out to eat are sometimes necessary. One young woman I know cooks lasagna, chicken casseroles,hamburgers or pork chops at least four nights a week. Then they eat leftovers and maybe go out for pizza the other nights. One other woman who works an afternoon shift spends weekends cooking meals that can be frozen and then used for the coming week.

You’ve probably heard it said many times that the young people of today don’t know how to cook— they just eat “fast food.” But I know at least two twenty-somethings that are excellent cooks. One has a family and a career and still cooks nearly every day. The other has a very stressful job and taught herself to make outstanding bread and pies and loves to cook for her family and friends especially at holidays.

The popularity of all the television food shows has more people cooking today. And they are cooking anything and everything—which reminds me, what am I going to fix for supper tonight?

Kathy Smith is a farm wife from Wayne Township. She writes for the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau.