Usually, one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. ~ J. Child

Are you one of those guys? The guy who doesn’t know how to cook or who believes they can live out the majority of their lives without stocking more in their refrigerator than beer and perhaps as you get older maybe some wine or even later, some Ensure? Learning to cook is a vital skill if you’re younger, regardless of gender, but studies are showing that older men in particular have lost touch with the basics which is leading to problems. Pre-cooked meals have their place, for sure, but that place is limited even under the best circumstances. Going out to eat is a lovely treat but as a mainstay it can cause its own problems, not the least of which is the financial impact.

Cooking for yourself means you have more control not only of what you eat but also of the ingredients that go into any particular dish or entire meal. Cooking can be very social if you invite others over or like to share the spoils of your efforts (notice I didn’t say ‘spoiled food’…share the good stuff!) Since depression and isolation are major problems among older men, the chance to get out to shop, interact with and hopefully enjoy their meals is a significant benefit of the effort.  

Some other fun things to know about cooking:

You’ll be able to specifically address what your desires are when you’ve got them. Not in the mood for salad tonight? No problem if you know how to make an omelet or whip up a roasted red pepper pesto to go with your pasta.

Don’t want to have sugar in your salad dressing (can you tell I eat a lot of salads)? Homemade salad dressing is a breeze and then you can put in it exactly what you want.

You’ll save money. Even a daily diet of Trader Joe’s meals isn’t cheap. Refer to previous postings on the joy of compounding interest rates for more details.

A pitfall is that you’ll learn what it is to have good, fresh food which makes it a bit of a challenge to eat less than fresh in the future. Ask me about seafood if you want more thoughts on that topic!

How to start? With the internet there is no shortage of how-to videos. Pick something you like and want to make. Best to keep it simple to start because you want success in the beginning, not a flaming failure that sends you back to the pre-made section of the grocery store. Yes, you’ll make a bit of a mess. Have a friend over or your significant other so they can cheer you on ~ and no, you need to do the clean up, not make them do it!

Here’s a link to one of my favorite recipes which might be a good jumping off place for you.

Oh man! Now that I see that I realize I’ve not made it in some time and tonight would be the perfect night for it! Off I go to get the pieces! What will you whip up this week? I’d love to hear from you even if your project didn’t turn out perfectly!

Wishing you the best for your week ~