Friday, March 6, 2009

Thoughts | My Cooking Journey Part 1.

Lest you think I just woke up one morning and starting cooking everything from scratch. Or maybe that I always have. Anyways here's a rough breakdown of how I got to the point I'm at now, and where I want to get:

Childhood: I was blessed to be raised in a house where soup came from jars in the cellar, all baking was from scratch and when we were hungry in the summer we were sent out to the garden to pull a carrot and wash it off with the hose.

I don't know when I started baking but I clearly remember that the oven scared me. I had to get over it one time because I had made cookies and my mom was out walking and I really wanted to put them in the oven. It was a big moment. I don't know how old I was, maybe mom remembers, but I would have been probably ten or eleven. My grade 7 year I home schooled for the second half and cooked my brother lunch every day when he came home from school. I'm pretty sure I also started making mac and cheese from scratch that year and the two of us could polish of what Betty Crocker thought would serve 6. Mmmmm.

Teenageness: When I was a teenager I did a lot of the cooking. Probably two or three days of supper a week and I made bread about half the time. I also started cooking random things just because I thought they would taste good. I was pretty healthy but addicted to sidekicks! I also gave up pop in Grade 12 when I realized that I didn't actually like it. I remember learning that people took longer to decompose than they used to due to all the preservatives we eat and that seriously twitched me out.

College age: When I left home I stopped baking sandwich bread. I wasn't a big bread eater and cooking for one (or two when I had friends/boyfriend/roommate around) meant that the bread went away. I still made foccacia and rolls sometimes. I ate more packaged food and more crap than at any other point in my life, just because it was such a hassle to cook for myself. I also had dorm food and whatnot, ate out too much. Long story short I was for a while underweight (due to being sick from work and not eating enough meat and fat) then gained the freshman 15 plus 5. Eeeeee.

Married life: Having someone to cook for again was great! Even before we got married we both lived with my parents for a bit and I cooked for everyone quite a bit. My dad teased me that it was all chicken and pasta. Fairly true. I wasn't paying that much attention to cooking from scratch but I still did for the most part. I switched to slim fast for breakfast and started dieting. I lost 15 lbs...gained 10, lost get the picture. When I was losing weight I felt lethargic and lightheaded because I have low blood pressure. We were eating healthier but with no regard for seasonal or local food. We were kind of coasting through life at that point and food was no exception. I view this as the starting point of the journey I'm on now.

What I cooked from scratch:

- Muffins, cookies, cakes etc. There was no store bought baking in my house.
- 75% of meals. Especially for guests, because that's the most fun.

What I bought:

- Whole grain bread/wraps/bagels etc
- Soup (although I stole from my mom still and occasionally made it.
- Pasta sauce/pasta
- Side dishes, you know packaged risotto, sidekicks that sort of thing.
- Frozen breaded chicken/fish when it was on sale
- Frozen juice
- Crackers, granola bars


- I bought into the whole low fat thing. Skim milk, margarine, fat free yogurt etc.
- I only used easy cuts of meat. Chicken breast, ground beef, quick fry pork chops.
- White rice, rice pasta, pasta pasta.

Doesn't sound so bad, does it? That's part of what I'm trying to say with this blog. I was eating in a way that was fairly convenient and that by the nutritional standards of the day was fairly good. So why did I change? This post is too long so tune in tomorrow!