Learning to Cook: Join us on our Journey

cook

I have a confession to make. I can’t cook. In this age where it seems like any parent who ever serves their kids pre-packaged, frozen meals is guilty of a crime, I am definitely a felon.

Sure, I enthusiastically pin healthy, whole food recipes on Pinterest, swearing that I’m gonna cook them one day. I read Mommy blogs that brag about pureeing organic, non-GMO veggies and sneaking them into homebaked muffins so their kids will eat them. You know how I sneak vegetables to my daughter? I put a tomato on my kid’s sandwich. I might add some bagged spinach for extra credit. But that sandwich also contains regular, processed lunch meat and bread. The horror. I don’t own a food processor, either.

How did this sad state of affairs come to be?

It’s not that I don’t want to learn how to cook. I am just a true child of the 80s and 90s, a time when Hamburger Helper and TV dinners were the saviors of working parents. This was before we started to realize that processed foods probably weren’t that good for us. So, several times a week, we sat down to a meal that required little more effort than boiling some pasta and adding meat and pre-packaged sauce mix. I can only be thankful now that TV dinners were rarely served to us. My mother thought they were gross and too expensive.

Neither of my parents really knew how to cook, either. My dad once said that the only thing he knew how to cook was a boiled egg. My mother could make decent, though overly sweet, baked goods, but knew little about cooking anything else from scratch. In fairness, her mother didn’t, either. In fact, my maternal grandmother’s primary method of cooking was to boil everything in a pot until it nearly fell apart. And my father’s mother was known for accidentally leaving plastic packaging on food and cooking it. My father told stories of sometimes biting into mouthfuls of plastic at meals.

Is it little wonder, then, that I never learned to cook real meals from scratch?

Now it’s time for a change.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that all processed foods are evil. As a matter of fact, cheese is technically a processed food, and I won’t be giving that up anytime soon. I’ve just come to believe that eating freshly cooked meals made from whole food ingredients is better. They’re  certainly better for our health. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the increase in the use of cheap, processed foods happened alongside an increase in the rates of obesity and “lifestyle” diseases like Type 2 diabetes. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out this article from the World Health Organization that discusses the link between processed foods and the obesity epidemic in Latin America.

And even if there weren’t about a million other ways that minimally processed foods are better for us, they also taste better? The homemade cookies your granny made for you probably did not come from a box.

Having said this, I have decided it’s time for me to change the way my family eats. I want to eliminate, as much as possible, ultra-processed foods from our diet and replace them with fresh, whole foods. To do this, I must learn how to cook.

Join me as I learn how to cook!

Fortunately, though I’ve never made them, I still have collections of recipes from mine and my husband’s ancestors. Thanks to the internet, I also have the ability to look up modern recipes that call for whole-food ingredients. My plan is to teach myself how to make both meals and desserts from scratch. My daughter will also be joining me on this journey because I believe it’s important that she learn how to make meals for herself. I don’t want to send her out into the world completely dependent on processed foods.

I’m also inviting you, my readers, to join me on this experience! 

Here’s how things will work. Each Monday, on Twitter and Facebook, I will announce the dish or dishes I plan to highlight for the week. Then, on Thursday, you will get to follow along with me as I try my best to prepare these items. I’ll share the recipe with you, and blog about our culinary adventures here and on our Facebook page (link here). I’ll be totally honest about how things turn out, and I will share pictures and video of our experiences, too.

So, if you want to join us on our journey to a healthier way of eating, be sure to follow our page. As I’ll be posting different things on Facebook (including some live video), I highly suggest you give our Facebook page a follow, too. This way, you won’t miss anything.

I know that a lot of you are also busy parents who want to eat healthier, too. I hope that you will learn along with me. Even if you consider yourself a good cook already, I hope we can provide you with some new recipe ideas and that you enjoy sharing our learning experience.

To find out what this week’s recipe will be, check our Facebook page at 5:00pm EST tonight. We’ll put a message out on Twitter this evening, too.

Thanks for joining us! We hope to see you again soon!

Learning to Cook

Learning to Cook

 

 

34 Comments

  • Nicole Cruze August 10, 2017 at 4:01 am

    love this, sounds fun!

    Reply
  • Kelly August 10, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Thank you for your “confessional” and for inviting us all along on your journey. I think I’m in the same place as you in that I don’t think all processed foods are evil, but trying to make as much as possible with whole foods is the way to go. I look forward to reading about your journey!

    Reply
    • Kamie August 10, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks! We are making our first recipe today, and we’re excited but nervous!

      Reply
  • Katie August 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I think it is awesome that you are learning to cook! It is so easy to follow into the habit of going out to eat. I was better at planning when my kids were little and money was tight. Looking forward to seeing your recipes!

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      I totally agree. It has gotten too easy for me to just order something or go out. I’m trying really hard to break that habit.

      Reply
  • Emily August 10, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    This is an important skill. Have fun with your journey. I can cook, but I have autistic children with sensory sensitivities. The only food they will all eat is pizza.

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      I was a foster parent to kids with autism and other special needs. We had one young man who would only eat chicken fried steak. I am planning on making a homemade pizza at some point!

      Reply
  • Blueberry Muffins: Learning to Cook Week One - We'll Do It Our Way August 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    […] I admitted in my last post, I don’t know how to cook. So, this was a real challenge for me. I’ve only ever made […]

    Reply
  • Cerin August 10, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    So fun! Love it!

    Reply
  • Stacey Billingsley August 10, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    This sounds fun! I am no chef, that’s for sure. Most of the time, I don’t even like cooking, so maybe you can change me! I also live with the two pickiest people in the world, and I have a college kid who is never home. I can’t wait to read more!

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      My daughter is also super-picky. I’m hoping that by making better food and getting her involved that she can expand her palate somewhat.

      Reply
  • Lisa August 10, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    This sounds like great fun! I hope everything turns out great.

    Reply
  • Anitra August 10, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Everyone starts off not knowing how to cook from scratch, it is a learning process. I learned from my mom, who has all the “recipes” in her head. Everything is measured by taste! Soul Food cooking at its finest!

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      I knew some ladies when I lived in New Orleans who made some of the best food ever- all of it Soul Food recipes passed down through their families. I was always so jealous of their skills!

      Reply
  • switchj1 August 10, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    I’m like you! Until I had children I never really ‘cooked’ meals. We pretty much had the same string of suppers every week and I never got creative. I’m trying to more these days!

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      The problem I have is that I never got out of the habit of making the same stuff out of a box every week. LOL!

      Reply
  • Joanne August 10, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    This is great! I love that you invited us along 🙂

    Reply
  • christyw8 August 11, 2017 at 12:19 am

    What perfect timing for you to start learning alongside your daughter! You are going to make so many cherished memories together!

    Reply
  • shelbrown August 11, 2017 at 1:22 am

    My mom used to cook everything. But I did learn by watching her. I really miss her cooking.

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      I wish I had had someone to teach me. I feel really behind in life skills since I never learned how to cook anything.

      Reply
  • Lisa August 11, 2017 at 4:44 am

    This is so cool! I hope your enjoy this fun adventure. Cooking definitely has its ups and downs. 🙂

    Reply
  • Christine August 11, 2017 at 5:55 am

    How fun! I love how you invite us to join your adventure with cooking.

    Reply
  • Courtney August 11, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I love this. I am the same way, I can cook a few things like tacos and tator tot hotdish but I just never learned to cook growing up… even though I took FACS classes!

    Great idea for a blog series!

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      If it’s out of a box I can make it. That’s the limit of my skills currently. Tator tot hotdish sounds tasty!

      Reply
  • Melissa August 11, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    This is awesome! My 13 yr old just started showing interest in cooking so we are in the teaching process as Well!

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      My daughter has wanted to learn to cook since she was really little. I just now finally gave in when I decided I should probably learn, too.

      Reply
  • mommabeaver3 August 11, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    I love this idea! I CAN cook, I’m just not good at it, nor do I enjoy it (or the people I serve it to generally speaking). So…I’ll have to keep up with you. Hopefully I’ll learn a thing or two.

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      I’m hoping to learn to enjoy cooking by making it an “experience.” We’re going to ease in to with a few easy recipes first.

      Reply
  • Debra August 11, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    This is a great idea and sounds like so much fun! Can’t wait to see your posts!

    Reply
    • Kamie August 11, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Kourtney August 11, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    This is such a fun idea!! I can’t wait to hear more about it.

    Reply
  • Carmen August 12, 2017 at 3:07 am

    I thought you were teaching your daughter to cook–but it’s you! Wish I could help! Have fun learning!

    Reply
  • Bola Adesanya August 12, 2017 at 4:12 am

    Wow! That’s awesome. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

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