by Green Actor
I offer reflections on learning how to prepare my own food and why it is valuable.
A peanut butter-and-honey sandwich is a delicious treat, provided you don’t have diabetes and are not allergic to peanuts. Fortunately for me, neither of these barriers has ever gotten in the way of my eating. It would be barely an exaggeration to say that I subsisted primarily on peanut butter-and-honey sandwiches when I was four and five years old—and I’m thankful that this didn’t give me diabetes.
In general, I love sandwiches. They are delicious. They have near endless variations. They are easy to make.
It’s no wonder, then, that I began my conscious life eating sandwiches. Like many of us, I’m sure, my mother used to make sandwiches for me all the time, and even after the period I’m about to describe, she kept making sandwiches for me. Still, when I was five years old, I had to learn to make sandwiches for myself.
At that time, my mother was pregnant with my brother. I didn’t understand why it made her tired; I was a little kid with next to no understanding of anything. There was a specific day—I no longer remember precisely when—that, as she recently reminded me, I asked her for a sandwich repeatedly and she said she would make me one, but never did. Eventually, however, I got tired of waiting for her and decided to make my own peanut butter-and-honey sandwich. Some time later, she finally got out of bed, went into the kitchen, and found that I had made my own sandwich. I wish I could have said it tasted like accomplishment, but I didn’t know what that word meant then, either.
I didn’t stop with sandwiches. I have since learned how to make many other meals as well. Let me talk, just for example, about banana pancakes. You can make them from just three ingredients: one banana, one egg, and some oatmeal. Mix these up, fry them in coconut oil, and enjoy.
As with sandwiches, my knowledge of these is also directly connected to my mom. She’s gone on various diets over the years and found that recipe for banana pancakes several years ago. She did teach me how to make those, and I’ve done it many times since for myself, including on my birthday this past April and in 2018. Unfortunately, I haven’t successfully talked my brother or my dad into trying them, but I may have more success with others.
Knowing how to prepare food is inherently valuable. When you eat out, you don’t get what I called the taste of accomplishment, and if you are a good cook who pays attention to the, neither do you waste food, which I hate seeing done because of the environmental impacts and failure to feed people who need it. All that you need is enough of the necessary ingredients, appealing recipes, knowhow, time, and you’re good to go.
You might protest that it makes no sense to worry about wasting food if you have somebody else in the house who can cook for you. I understand that, and there might be people out there who just don’t have any or all of the prerequisites cited above, perhaps not even access to them. If so, it certainly helps to have somebody who can cook for you; but if they become indisposed for whatever reason, such as my mother in the situation I mentioned all those years ago, learning becomes necessary.
In conclusion, cooking is a rewarding and helpful activity that I recommend for everyone who doesn’t already do it and that I recommend more if you don’t do it often.