Becoming a Home Cook

— babysteps

banana bread making

Part of being able to feed oneself involves making food ad hoc.

I cook frequently but I treat cooking as a leisure activity. I decide to cook when I’m inspired by a recipe on a cooking show or blog. Going to the store is about getting ingredients for a recipe. But the more I want to prepare food regularly, the more I realize that I just have to throw things together.

It’s not like the cooking shows. Not many people are like Nigella with a head full of recipes to run through. I’ve been tricked into thinking that’s what it’s like.

Two days ago, I made a burrito with leftover ingredients. It wasn’t glamorous, it didn’t feel like I was doing a good job but after ten minutes, I had a meal that satisfied my hunger. It feels good to get the job done without much thought.

Usually when I don’t feel like making a meal, my husband takes me out.

It’s easy to abide by strict health rules when making a handful of recipes a week. ‘Well I can’t make that because it’s got too much sugar, not that because it has food coloring… I can’t use a microwave.’

At a restaurant, all unhealthy practices are hidden. I don’t feel guilty. The food is super tasty.

I’ve started to ditch my ‘healthy’ food restrictions. We’re eating microwaved meals for the first time, I baked banana bread with sugar. I’m doing my own poisoning from now on. If I can’t get extremely salty and flavorful food at home, I’m likely to step out for it anyway.

I’m tired of going out, looking for a place, waiting for a server, then waiting for food and waiting to pay. Also restaurant food doesn’t make me feel good.

Maybe one day I’ll get to a point where I can have a full day’s worth of idealistically healthy meals (sugar-free, protein-rich, made from whole ingredients). It’s taken forever to admit, but I’m not capable of that right now.

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