So may people think you need to be a chef to go into a kitchen to create a lovely meal. Nothing could be further from the truth. all you need is a passion...and a passion for food and for showing others what your passion is, which is food.
I myself, could be in the kitchen (dishes included) all day long and not give a care. I did that, about 4 years ago at Thanksgiving. My sister was here with her brood and my other sister showed up and we were nearly 19 some-odd people strong. We cranked in the kitchen from right after breakfast until the time we sat down. Now granted, there were many people to cook for, but I have learned as I go along with each now holiday and this next will set folks on their heels. Thanksgiving of 2010, we will not serve meat.
I can see my husband saying it now. These people expect meat. OK, then let them cook it and bring it. I have no problem with that, I myself will not be cooking a poor defenseless bird this year. I have no problem with others eating meat but I no longer feel the pressure to 'entertain' people in my home and go by their rules. I am not trying to come off as condescending, but I no longer feel I have to conform to everyone else's norm. It is not what I do, so why do it now? What if I did not consume alcohol, would folks expect me to serve liquor at my house if it went against the grain of my beliefs? I think not, so what is the difference? There isn't any difference. It's just that so many folks feel that you 'have to' have meat at the table that they feel lost without it. I feel just thee opposite. I find it a challenge to fill that void, so bring it on.
I do have a feeling however, that our guests may be smaller when we declare that there will be no bird...or pig for that matter, gracing our tables. With that out there, you can very easily start on your own private journey and get in the kitchen. They say, 'A way to a mans heart is through his stomach', that is so very true. But you may feel inadequate in the kitchen. Well let those feelings go. Stop being afraid, for that is when two things happen. 1) Your fear over takes you and it has then won. 2) When you become afraid, accidents happen. So find your mojo and let's see what is so good about being home in the kitchen over that lousy drive-thru window with even crappier food.
1) It's economical.
Home cooking saves money...bar none. Do the math yourself. Figure out how much it would take you to eat out 3 meals a day and do give me that dollar menu for all three meals, I ain't buyin' that.
2) It's safer.
When you do the cooking, you have control over what goes into your meals. And buying organic makes it all that healthier.
3) It's Healthier.
Even if you are not a raw vegan, you can still eat healthier. For anyone who has seen me in action, you all know the 3 questions I tell you to ask about your food. a) Can you pronounce thee ingredients? b) Would you have those ingredients in your pantry? c) Would your great-grandmother recognize it as real food? Know what is in your food and where it comes from.
4) It tastes better.
You may find your food may need a touch more salt for a while, but that is because you have been brainwashed, manipulated into thinking that is what you want and or need. WRONG! Big food chains have been changing your taste buds for years, but let me be the one to tell you, you do not need 1,238 milligrams of sodium to have something taste good.
5) It tastes like you want it to.
You like spicy, nutty, sweet, then go for it, but there is only so much they can alter when the food has been processed beyond anything and made in some factory. But at home, skies the limit and how your food can taste.
6) It's satisfying.
There is nothing more satisfying to your stomach and to your ego than to see people enjoy your creation. And you can take full credit for making that rice pilaf and smile all the while. Go on, you deserve it.
7) It makes reducing meat consumption easier.
If you haven't tried it yet, visit, Meatless Monday and see how many people are giving it a try...one day at a time. Small moves people, small moves.
8) It is a gift to future generations. 100 years ago there was no such a thing as a restaurant chain, or mass produced foods, or factory farmed animals. People took the time to cook and then sit with family and enjoy said meal. How many of you actually sit down at an actual dinner table and eat together with any member of your family? I do, even if it is only one of my family. We have gotten away from that tradition. Maybe you can kindle that again in your home. And sitting in front of the TV with a slice of pizza does not count.
9) It enriches your life.
Have a pot luck dinner. Do a dinner and a movie night. Do a food theme night that correlates with a board game or movie or color coordinate with a holiday. At Saint Patrick's Day have everyone bring something native to Ireland or bring something green. You get my drift.
10) It makes a statement.
When you tell someone that you will not join them at the sports bar or the local pizza house, and they ask why...tell them. Maybe by hearing your reasons, you will have planted a seed. they may not take root right away, but eventually you will hit upon someone who it does take hold with.