Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm not Julia Child by any stretch!

For any of you who know me, the title probably made you snort your coffee out your nose followed by the phrase "no kidding!". No worries, I'm the first to admit that I'm not domestic, especially in the kitchen. There are three main reasons I don't like to cook.

  1. my kitchen is the size of a walk in closet (and uglier).
  2. I have normal ingredients in my cupboards and I can pronounce them all (most recipes call for weird or obscure things)
  3. I like to spend no more than one hour at a time in the kitchen and if I have to clean it first (which is usually the case) then I've already spent half of my alloted time in there.
These are my excuses. I think I would enjoy cooking if I took a proper class (of normal foods - nothing too fancy). I think I would also enjoy it more if I didn't have to increase my grocery budget by large amounts of money - this month we already went over budget and we didn't get anything out of the ordinary. Why oh why is it so expensive to eat healthier foods than junk?!?!

Now, having said all of that, I've had a few urges to improve in this area of my life. It's little things, really. For instance some cooking based movies I've seen lately, Ratatouille and Julie & Julia (which I loved and blogged about already). Maybe it was the ladies ministry fall event "Cooking with John Storey" that I attended at my church. John made it look so easy and I could pronounce his ingredients, too. Then I found this super fun cooking video blog, The Working Class Foodies - so good! I actually baked the apple cake that they posted and it turned out great. 

One thing that I've been doing that helps me out is a meal plan. It is now incorporated into my organizer and I do about 2 weeks at a time. This helps me to better plan my grocery list and I'm not trying to decide what to cook at 4 o'clock. I've written down a list of meals that we know and love and pull from that list, adding a new recipe now and then that I want to try. For example I am going to try this recipe this week from the Sobey's inspired magazine. I also tried a broccoli and cheese stromboli from the 2010 milk calendar that David brought home for me (available for free at Sobeys right now).

What's my point? I don't think I really have one, except to say that I'm getting better and if I can spend time cooking.... anybody can! Check out the many links throughout this post - some great resources!


patty-jean said...

Some great sites!!! we love Ratatouille Also - and well - I just have not seen Julie & Julia yet!
Always love to visit here Dear Coralee!

Evelyn in Canada said...

I'm sure you can learn to cook and it will help (not hinder) your budget. The more things you can do with eggs, flour, sugar and other raw ingredients, the less processed foods you have to buy. One reason driving me to cook, bake, can, and freeze from scratch is BECAUSE I can pronounce the ingredients. Start with simple stuff. You may never have to get more fancy than that because simple tastes really yummy.

patty-jean said...

I finally saw the julia movie - loved it, but was recommended to NOT read the book.

Erin said...

Cooking is something I have learned to love and find important over the last 6 or 7 years. The amount of unhealthy stuff in commercial/processed food is just unreal... and we wonder why cancer runs rampant? Oy. Simple comfort foods are often a good way to get started in the kitchen, and I've found if I clean as I go (either hand-rinsing quickly or putting right into the dishwasher) helps me keep a handle on the messiness of the kitchen, post-meal.

If everything remains undone at the end, I just walk away and leave it sit, leaving a worse mess the following day. Thus, I put away ingredients after I use them, get things rinsed/loaded and wipe up spills before they turn crusty and awful.

I am no domestic goddess, not by a hell of a long shot... but I think it's possible to learn. :)

Erin said...

Oh, one more thing! I completely feel your pain about the price of healthy, whole foods. It truly seems unfair. However, I've found two things that help - 1.) visit farmer's markets. Buying right from the farm ensures a few things that are important to me; buying locally, supporting people working hard to produce organic foods, and getting fresh produce. 2.) Buy frozen veggies if you can't get to the farmer's market.

I recently attended a lecture by Alton Brown, and he pointed out something completely obvious I'd never thought of: Is a raw head of broccoli that's driven across the country from California fresher than one that is frozen moments after being picked? Nope! Frozen is every bit as healthy as raw, and is typically cheaper and pre-cut.

When we buy a lot of raw produce, some of it inevitably goes bad, and I always feel guilty. We buy more frozen now. Good luck, looking forward to keeping up with your blog.