Matt says: Real Men Wear Aprons!
If nothing else, Amanda and I will always do our best to be honest about our life in food and all of our experiences. As dictated by Amanda’s post last night on binge eating (I made my hemp-seed chocolate chip cookies last night under the guise of “I’m making it for a friend, but really i want to eat about 5), we all fall victim to eating more than we want to, and then we have to decide whether or not we want to lose too much sleep on it or just get moving again. But that’s just a precursor to the point of this posting.
As I said, we always try to be upfront about what we are doing and how we are working to continue or develop a healthier lifestyle. I can say that without a doubt that one of the biggest and simpler ways to eat better is to cook your own food. When Amanda and I met years ago, neither one of us could cook. I think I tried to impress her by picking up some pre-made steak and vegetables and cooking them in my dinky apartment. (She was polite and said it was good, but it was just nasty).
Amanda over the years has developed into a great cook and healthy eater because on top of learning what foods you should or shouldn’t eat, she also learned to cook. I think people are afraid of learning to cook because they feel like they don’t know what they’re doing and if they’re like me, they are afraid to make a mistake.
I still am, and that keeps me out of the kitchen most of the time.
Lately though, I’ve had more free time and this has given me the will to try out new things in the kitchen and learn how to make recipes. For the most part, I will find a recipe i like and then just follow it step-by step. As I get more comfortable, I will improvise, try adding in new flavors or processes, and once i get really comfortable, i get all kinds of crazy. (Amanda loves when I LOVE something, because then I get REALLY good at making it).
But still, my knowledge is very limited. There are some basic things I can’t do, like cut an onion properly, or tell when an avocado is too ripe. Being left handed doesn’t help either, as I tend to get things skewed, and they look kind of funky.
So for my anniversary gift (which if you can believe was in June), Amanda got me cooking lessons at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE). She had originally gotten me the beginner class, but when I called to sign up, they said it was for people who didn’t know how to use an oven. Literally. So i signed up for the next level, which is what she took and how she learned to cook. It makes me laugh now to think about it because she’s such a pro but when we first moved in together, she couldn’t cut carrots.
I understand that cooking lessons can cost money and may not seem like the most prudent use of money, but as time goes by I truly believe that a healthy lifestyle can best be achieved in the kitchen. I like my junk food, but I get freaked out more and more when I go to restaurants and have no idea what is going into my meals. Sometimes I turn a blind eye, and sometimes I’ll eat something even knowing that it was prepared under less than ideal standards. But I firmly believe that in order to be truly healthy, one must be willing to get a little dirty in the kitchen (not literally dirty, b/c you should probably practice good hygiene, wash your hands and food in the kitchen…unless you’re into that sort of thing). It may seem daunting at first, but like anything else, all you have to do is try. It’s ok to not get it right the first time, and truth is more often than not the first time you try a recipe it might not turn out that well. But that’s why god created take out.
My class starts next week and runs Monday-Friday, 10-3. I’ll do my best to report back each day on my progress but promise to give a report at the end of the week.