Cook for yourself

I prefer white meat, can't you tell?

I like to cook for other people, don’t get me wrong. I made Thanksgiving dinner for my family yesterday and I couldn’t wait to see them enjoy it. Cooking for other people, however fun it can be, is not my passion.

My passion is cooking for myself. That sounds selfish, but it’s true. Being able to cook is empowering. When  you cook for yourself, you only have to make things you like. You can use ingredients that fit your own food ethics, be they political, religious, economic, health-related or just personal. You can use the techniques you like, skip the ones you don’t. Whatever appears on your plate (and how it got there) is entirely up to you.

On this site, I put forth ideas. Not all of those ideas will appeal to you or your own food standards. That’s great; because if you’re reading this site I hope that you’ve taken it upon yourself to at least try cooking for yourself.

Everyone has ideas about “the right way to cook,” “the best way to cook,” or even the right and best way to eat. I take those ideas with a grain of salt, and I hope you do too. The best way to do anything is the way that’s right for you. Unless you are trying to cook professionally, the only person you really have to prove your chops to is yourself.

That said, if there’s ever anything on this site that you’d like to try but don’t agree with an ingredient I chose or the method I took, try it your own way. There’s always an alternative way. Use ingredients you like better. Use equipment you have. Make it using organic, vegetarian, cheap, kosher, gluten-free, [insert specific dietary need here] alternatives or substitutes. Do it however you want. When you do, tell us about it in the comments. Maybe others will like your way too. Maybe it will inspire more people to just give it a try.

Remember, I don’t care what you eat – I just care that you like it!

As an aside: Don’t judge other people for the food choices they make. Eating, putting food into one’s body, is one of the most personal things I can think of. You decide what goes in and you are also the only one who experiences the food you choose to eat. In my mind that means that your food is your business and not really anyone else’s. That is another reason I cook for myself.


About this author:  I'm a New Yorker who would rather cook than go out to restaurants. Sometimes I think I may be in the wrong city for that. Then I remember the exotic ingredients I'd be hard-pressed to find if I lived somewhere else. My cooking style is an eclectic range of everyday-American, Italian, middle-eastern, with extensive forays into Japanese cuisine, and some pit-stops into Indian and African cuisines. I love to try my hand at recreating dishes I taste. While I enjoy most anything with a flavor, from high cuisine to instant junk food, I have a soft spot in my belly for home-style cooking no matter the geographic or ethnic origin. Read more from this author...


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9 Responses to “Cook for yourself”

  1. JennNo Gravatar

    I had to pop in and check out the picture. Lovely picture as well as table set-up. Makes me want to sit right down and have a bite to eat.

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the subject of cooking as well.

    Reply
  2. EmilyNo Gravatar

    Agreed!

    (Is that the Thanksgiving you made for your family? It looks AWESOME.)

    How would you recommend non-cookers begin cooking? I was wondering about this the other day, and the solution I came up with was to just start sauteeing things. That’s what I did, and I kind of learned to cook by accident. What do you think?

    Reply
    • SarahNo Gravatar

      That’s a good question. I’ll have to write a post about that soon. Sauteeing is a great way to start getting a handle on how different foods cook and mix. Another recommendation I would have is to try to find out how to make your favorite food – either something you always buy or something someone else used to make for you. Stay tuned, there will be a post about this soon!

      Also, yes that was a bit of our table from last week. After 5 years of practice, it finally went off without a hitch. It was definitely the best turkey that I ever made. If anyone is interested I’ll share what we did.

      Reply
  3. YvoNo Gravatar

    I’m curious what sparked this post, but it’s a great one for the first one I’m reading on your site. I get really riled up when people tell me how to eat or what to eat (in a bossy way, not an “I think you’d like this” kind of way). Related, a girl once gave me a recipe that had a bunch of ingredients I don’t generally enjoy and therefore don’t keep on hand. So I took it and changed it to suit my needs and told her thanks for the recipe and mentioned that I’d made it with a few tweaks. She actually said to me “Then it sucked because I’ve spent so much time perfecting that recipe to absolute perfection. It’s perfect the way it is and any changes would make it inferior to the way I gave it to you.” Ummm… really? Because some people don’t like strong herbs in their food, and I’m sure they – like I – would disagree… lol. Insanity.

    Reply
    • SarahNo Gravatar

      Exactly. I’m the substitution queen. I almost never have the same ingredients on hand from one week to the next and so even things I make often come out differently. And that’s fine, that’s one of the main tenets of home cooking, in my opinion. Be flexible, use what you have on hand, and keep things on hand that you like.

      The thing that spurred this post was gossip about keeping kosher (clearly not something I do). But really, what does it matter what I eat when it’s not happening in your kitchen or your mouth?

      So good to see you over here Yvo. Hope you enjoy!

      Reply
  4. RosNo Gravatar

    I’m really new to this blog world, but I really amaze that so many bloggers had a concern about recipes and food. As someone who loved to eat, for me this is a gift. Your thought above really inspire me, i like when you say “Being able to cook is Empowering”, it sounds great and of course i am agree with you. And i agree when you say we can try to cook with our own ingredients and equipments and different techniques, because everybody have their own culture maybe, or taste or anything, and sometimes it is really hard to follow the recipes perfectly. Cooking for myself with my own style will be my on top of my recipe list, and that what i always think i want to do, Thank you. Anyway this is Ros, nice to read your blog 🙂

    Reply
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