Cooking from Scratch vs “Cheating”

I love cooking and baking. I truly do. If I had the time, I’d probably prepare everything from scratch, just like Grandma did. However, we live in different times. In Grandma’s day, men were providers and women were homemakers. Nowadays many women either don’t have a husband to provide for them, or the economic reality is that she has to work outside the home too just to make ends meet. It’s not that we’ve become lazy or slovenly in the kitchen. The fact of the matter is that many of us simply don’t have the time, or the stamina, to come home from a long day’s work and then prepare a meal completely from scratch.

I learned how to cook from my mother. She was a homemaker, but she also had a busy social life with her bridge clubs, volunteering, and so forth. However, TV dinners and fast food were considered a treat as most nights my mother cooked dinner for us. She mostly cooked from scratch, but she also “cheated” a little. She used frozen vegetables, or a can of Campbell’s soup for her sauces, or a packaged scalloped potato mix, but even with all this “cheating,” her meals were always wonderful. My mother also used cake mixes and pudding mixes for her desserts, however her famous German chocolate cake was made from scratch, but it was only baked for special occasions.

I do much the same as my mother did. I too buy frozen vegetables, and I’ll sometimes use canned soups or sauce mixes or the occasional boxed scalloped potato mix. It not only saves time, it also helps prevent spoilage. I simply don’t have the time to go to the grocery store everyday for fresh fruits and veggies.

I do, however, have draw the line somewhere. Hamburger Helper? No no!  I had to eat that stuff when I was in college and didn’t have time to cook.  Ramen soup is another college staple food I’m totally burned out on, although I have a fantastic recipe for a cabbage salad with ramen soup. That’s the only time I use it anymore.

My point is this–if you have the time to cook everything from scratch that’s terrific, but if you don’t, it’s okay. This isn’t Master Chef. It’s your kitchen and you have a life outside of it.

My thought for the day.