Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Last Sunday, Wiley Miller's Non Sequitur comic shares a curmudgeonly view of cooking at home. Indeed, a lot of what is "cooked" in homes is merely heated up by legions of "box food people." I am happy to report, however, that a growing number of young people are interested in cooking.
This very morning, Pam's Spanish class is converging on our house to share dishes they created in relation to their study of Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate). Last week, students attending a Real Food Challenge event at BSU brought a fabulous assortment of dishes they created themselves.
When I asked students in my introductory environmental geography class how many of them (or their parents) grow at least some food at home, about 2/3 raised their hands, and many beamed as they listed the home produce. In the film To Market, To Market to Buy a Fat Pig, one of the market managers explains that his goal is to encourage home cooking.
Dining out is still enjoyable, of course, if it is actual dining. But as a friend who once worked in food service told us, the four major food groups in some restaurants are bags, boxes, bottles, and cans. We've found that all too often, eating out has meant paying much more for boring food than good food would have cost, with the only benefit having been that someone else did the dishes. And with a dishwasher in our kitchen, that is a mighty slim benefit!
So, we find ourselves in restaurants only when it is necessary in order to meet people or get other things done, or when we know that the chef can make something better than we can make it ourselves! We often find ways to avoid the former, and the latter becomes increasingly rare.