Thursday, February 26, 2015

Let me start off by saying...

There is a difference between a chef and a cook.

I am not a chef, nor do I aspire to be one. I mean, a professional chef: one who gets paid lots of money to cook lots of complicated dishes in hot, sweaty, crowded kitchens; or a celebrity chef on the Food Network. That's what we think of when we hear the word chef, right? At least, I do. Don't get me wrong though. I know not all chefs work in such uncomfortable environments, but I appreciate the work of those who do. And I love the Food Network.

As for me? I'm a cook.

A cook is someone who prepares meals. A chef prepares MEALS, if you know what I mean. While the latter is wonderfully exciting and intense, that's not why I'm here. Like I said, I'm here as a cook; I'm here to share with you my experiences as an emerging adult who likes to cook, but, like many others, needs to be thrifty and efficient with time. I'm not made of money and chances are if you're still reading, you aren't either.

After having several conversations with friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, I have come to realize that it is almost abnormal for a person of my age (currently 22) to know how to cook more than eggs and toast. The world is becoming more and more technology-centric, with everything available at our fingertips. It seems as if everyone is going going going, paying less and less attention to what they put in their bellies. In a world where you can buy fully-cooked meat, jarred sauce, complete (and healthy) frozen meals and snacks, and seven varieties of pasta salad at the deli, who needs to cook? Even eggs and toast practically come prepared in frozen form.

It's time to take back the skill of cooking. Yes, it takes time and a little bit of effort, but there are invaluable benefits that come with knowing how to cook for yourself and others. First, there is the monetary factor. Cooking for yourself without reliance on pre-made food and take-out will lead to many dollars saved. Second is a feeling of nourishment that you can't get from hardly anywhere else. Even if a dish turns out not exactly as you expected it to (in not exactly a good way), it still tastes good, because you made it. Third: cooking is enjoyable! Fourth: the list goes on and on.

I know a lot of young adults like myself are going to be college graduates soon, and after that, they'll be on their own. How do I buy the right food? Should I plan meals for the week? How can I fit cooking into my busy schedule? How can I spend under $50 a week on food? What the hell is a roux? If you want answers to some or all of these questions, look no further than CookWorthy.

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