Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Save money by cooking fresh

I was lucky enough to grow up in a household that often included my mother, both grandmothers, and my great aunt. All of these incredible ladies felt most comfortable in the kitchen. I spent at least half of my early years sitting at the kitchen table watching them whip up stews, sauces, jams, cookies and pies. All from scratch.

It's not like they ever really showed me how to do anything. I just watched. When it came to the time in my life where I was standing in my own kitchen with no one there to cook for me, I didn't reach for a can opener. I reached for the raw ingredients that were needed to cook.

I knew from observation how to chop, grate, steam, broil, saute, simmer and bake just about anything that I wanted. I knew how to use a strainer, a grater, a rolling pin and a mixer. To my surprise, I even knew exactly how to make homemade pie pastry that was perfect the first time I made it.

Unfortunately, today's children are not growing up in households where they sit for endless hours watching food prepared. A huge number come home from a long day at school to an empty house. They take something out of the freezer and pop it into the microwave where short burst of radiation kills any nutrients that may have mistakenly survived the processes necessary to make food last well past nature's intended expiration date.

Fortunately, there is hope! The internet provides access to incredible videos and recipes that can teach you and your children how to prepare your own food. It's fun and its cheaper than buying prepared packaged food.

Here are five of my favorite sites to help you on your journey to real food:
  1. How to cook from scratch. This is a great article on that lists out some very basic recipes. This is a good place to start.
  2. Recipes from ingredients you have on hand. is an awesome site that allows you to put together something to eat from what you already have. It will also show you recipes that will require one or two items that you don't have but you might be able to borrow from your neighbor or pick up at the corner store.
  3. Videos that teach you the basics of cooking. This site has lots of short videos that show you all sorts of basics like how to cut an onion or how to fry an egg. Fun, fun learning.
  4. Learn to cook from a kid. I say that the best way to learn a new subject is to approach it like you are a fifth grader. Here's a kid with her own cooking show. I learned a lot.
  5. A list of the top 100 culinary blogs. If the above four aren't enough for you, check out this list. Whatever you need and want will be in that list.
I love food and I love cooking. It is so much better to give your family food that is fresh cooked. I hope that these links help you overcome any back-off you might have on using your kitchen for its intended purpose.

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