Woo hoo! I cooked for an entire month straight and I feel great! I learned how to make homemade brownies, poach an egg, and bake a loaf of bread from scratch. It's amazing how something so basic in nature like cooking can be so empowering when you decide to take it back into your own hands.
Michael Pollan in his latest book "Cooked" summed up my thoughts perfectly:
“Well, in a world where so few of us are obliged to cook at all anymore, to choose to do so is to lodge a protest against specialization—against the total rationalization of life. Against the infiltration of commercial interests into every last cranny of our lives. To cook for the pleasure of it, to devote a portion of our leisure to it, is to declare our independence from the corporations seeking to organize our every waking moment into yet another occasion for consumption. (Come to think of it, our nonwaking moments as well: Ambien, anyone?) It is to reject the debilitating notion that, at least while we’re at home, production is work best done by someone else, and the only legitimate form of leisure is consumption. This dependence marketers call “freedom.”
For a long time in many areas of my life, efficiency ruled. If you can outsource cleaning, why not? Don't waste your time scrubbing the toilet when you can hire it out and focus on your own expertise. The same went with food. Why not let restaurants do the cooking for me? I had other things to focus on. Now I look at things differently. As much as I don't really enjoy scrubbing my floors, I get a lot of pleasure out of taking the time to make my home beautiful. In the same way, the act of cooking, though often time consuming and laborious, is more often than not much more gratifying than going out to eat. There's the planning and the failures and the extreme patience involved. All of the effort gets folded together into a not-so perfect home cooked meal, making it all the more delightful once you sit down to eat.
It's a few days into October (I don't have a new experiment yet ahh!) and I'm still cooking every meal. I haven't even really missed going out to eat. I'm sure just like with all of my previous experiments, this new habit will also start to fade and I'll be chomping down on cheeseburgers in no time. But for now, I'm still enjoying everything wonderful to eat at home. Bon Appetite!