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In honour of getting a meal on the table

Nigella Lawson has always waved the flag for home cooks, and rightly so.

She recently wrote a piece for online newsletter Lenny, in which she outlined the virtues of home cooking. Home cooks, she said, should never feel inferior to chefs.

While restaurant cooking — like a lot of the fare on TV cooking shows — can be extraordinary and theatrical, it often belongs more in the realm of entertainment than anything else.

Of course, there are TV chefs — bless you Jamie Oliver and your ilk — who do provide simple, tasty ideas for the home cook, as Nigella herself does.

As she says, home cooking has been seen, especially in the past, as part-and-parcel of housework. As such it wasn’t valued or respected. But it ought to be.

Cooking, says Nigella, is an act of caring for others, but it’s also an act of self-care. One of the primary ways we can take care of ourselves is through nourishment with food. Ultimately, home cooking provides comfort.

She also regards it as a creative and sensuous act, and talks of the feel of dough in her fingers, the scent of lemon zest, the sound of onions sizzling in a pan, and the beauty of a dark, gleaming eggplant.

But what she doesn’t mention is that — as with most other creative pursuits —there’s also plenty of sheer work involved. 

Behind every meal that’s produced in a home kitchen, there’s often a tonne of thinking ahead, shopping, and sheer wizardry in pulling together something edible from the leftover collection of odds and sods in the fridge. Not to mention all the chopping, peeling, mashing, and so on.

Some of us enjoy that 99% perspiration part, and some of us enjoy it way less, but regardless, we’ve probably done it thousands upon thousands of times. (And if you were far-sighted enough to partner with someone who’s done it for you, clever you.)

I’ll add that home cooking with good, fresh ingredients is also the cornerstone of being healthy.

This coming Mother’s Day, whether we have kids or not, we ought to congratulate ourselves on all those decades of meal making.


Photo Source: lifestylefood.com.au 


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Friday, April 27, 2018 | Rhonda Anderson