Why You Should Cook

Knowing how to cook is important. Seriously. It is part of being a well-rounded, competent individual. I would venture to say, male or female, if you do not know how to cook at least a few basic things, you are a pussy.

So why should you know how to cook. We all eat around three times a day: every day. Preparing food is one of the absolute basics of survival. It is also not that hard. There are several dishes or foods that every person should know how to cook.

Additionally, in America it is far cheaper to cook at home (stupid tipping custom). It is also nice to know what you are putting in your body a majority of the time, and cooking can be a lot of fun and quite a creative endeavor.

Let’s cover a few basic things we should all know how to cook. I’m going to focus on the omnivore diet here but with all the fake meat stuff available these days, a lot of this will transfer quite easily

First you should know how to cook an egg (ok vegans, this may not transfer too well). Eggs, despite the crazy scare campaign against them in the 80s (which has been discredited) are a pretty good nutritional source. You can go for just the egg whites and make them more nutritional too. Cooking eggs is quite easy as all you need is a skillet and some sort of oil or butter to prevent sticking.

Do note that there are a ton of ways to prepare eggs, and they can be quite different. Scrambled eggs, always a popular choice, should be cooking over low heat while omelets should be cooked over high heat, beaten just enough for the yolk to mix with the white and will be done in less than a minute (yeah, that’s how it is properly done).

This is a good time to mention a foundational book in cooking. You should get Julia Child’s How To Cook. This is an excellent guide on, well, just what the title says. It has recipes, but that is not the focus. The focus is on how to do it properly and what you will need. It will be one of the best $20 you ever spent.

Another thing we should all know how to do is prepare food in a skillet. This food can take many forms. It can be meat, potatoes, vegetables, fake meat (soy product and such) or whatever. It is not that hard. You really just need a skillet and some kind of cooking oil, butter or lard. Don’t get too crazy with the heat. Experiment. Use herbs and spices liberally. You will figure it out.

Lastly, we should all know how to operate a barbecue. I am talking about the gas barbecues, charcoal barbecues and just a wood fire barbecue. Cooking meat and vegetables on a barbecue is awesome. As with the skillet, don’t get too crazy with the heat. You will be fine.

The thing with cooking is actually doing it. You should look up recipes, but don’t worry about following them exactly. Cooking is more of an art than a science. There is room for improvisation almost every step of the way. If you want to make your food into a science then try your hand at baking.

If you are not good in the kitchen, do not fear. You can change this. Pick one recipe (a relatively simple one) and try it out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You will get better as time goes on. Who knows, you may even find out you really like it.