|Vegetable curry is a perennial fav.|
2. Leftovers! So many dishes turn twice as delicious the next day (yes, I’m owning that rhyme right there). Plus you can save money on going out to eat by bringing leftovers to work.
3. Cook once, eat twice (or if you’re me, 10 times). Although cooking admittedly takes time, with some forethought, you can prepare meals that feed your family more than once. If you have Cook For An Army Syndrome like yours truly, you may even be able to make your energies do triple or quadruple duty. At least once a week, I like to make entrees we can eat twice, and then freeze to enjoy later in the month (or year).
4. Caring for friends and family. Good cooking can be a gift. Whether it’s making a meal for your immediate family or taking food to a friend in need, cooking allows you to demonstrate care to your loved ones. For the record, my M.O. is to make casserole and/or cookies.
|Potatoes Anna. Easy and incredibly satisfying.|
6. Saving money. Think back to the last $10 plate of pasta or $12 chicken dish you ordered. Did you know you can make most meals for a fraction of the cost a restaurant will charge? Knowing how to cook is a big time cash keeper.
|Pancakes with blueberry compote. Oh yes.|
8. Sharing identity and culture. By sharing food, you can share who you are. For instance, I got to know my old roommate Matt best when we were in the kitchen. By talking about, preparing and cooking food together, he taught me about Hawaiian traditions and how he grew up (and a hundred other things). Likewise, I love that my friend Geeta makes me Indian tea when I crash at her place and that we always find ourselves chatting over raviolis or popcorn or most recently, mango lassi. I’ve learned so much about my friends by cooking with them.
9. Expressing creativity. Whether it’s cobbling together a menu from disparate ingredients, trying a complicated recipe, or preparing something aesthetically pleasing, cooking is an excellent creative outlet. It combines art and science, improvisation and structure. And have I mentioned, it’s fun?
|Sauteed chicken and roasted root veggies.|
11. Stress relieving. At least for me, the kitchen can be a retreat from the stresses of the day. Although I admit I don’t always feel like cooking, most of the time, chopping and frying and stirring can ease my soul.
12. Staying connected. Want to keep a couple, a family, a friend network connected? Make a meal. When I think about the friends we see most often, and the family events that I remember most fondly, I can envision us around a kitchen table.
13. Did I mention leftovers?