Way back in the old days (meaning 2009), I was a cooking fanatic. Every Friday night, I'd comb through my cookbooks and my back issues of Vegetarian Times, looking for a couple recipes to make on Sunday. I'd eat one for lunch that week, the other for dinner. If I was feeling particularly cook-y, I'd even make a couple of my own loaves of bread. I'd write out my shopping list, wincing a little at the cost (I was buying 100% organic at the time). If it was summer, the list would be split into two categories: grocery store and farmer's market.
On Saturday, I'd do the shopping. I'd make a morning of it. I'd often start the day off with a yoga class. If t were summer, I'd go from there to the farmer's market, then off to the grocery store. If I didn't do yoga, I'd head off to Barnes and Nobles and spend the morning browsing books before heading off to one of the local natural foods stores.
Yeah... don't do that anymore.
After I quit my cushy but soul-killing job, I simply didn't have the funds to spend so much money on one person per week. As I was also going to school and working, my 70-hour weeks didn't allow me much time to pour over magazines or cookbooks, much less spend a Sunday morning puttering about the kitchen. During those nine months, I pretty much lived off bulk lentils (which were organic), rice, and conventional frozen vegetables. I'd put them in the crock pot before leaving for work Monday evenings, and come back to a soup I could eat for the rest of the week. If I bought organic anything (save the lentils), its because I found it at the local dented-can shop. I ate a lot of processed foods; I didn't have time for anything else.
But now? Now, I have the time. I have a weekend again. Which actually includes a weekend day. I have money again. Granted, not what I was making at hell job but enough for me to buy local and organic if I'm careful about it.
But mostly, I have time to cook again.
I've simply fallen out of the habit. And lord knows I'm usually too exhausted after a day of work to do much beyond turning the stove on and shoving some fries and a morning star farm chik patty in for 20 minutes. But you know what? It's just as easy after a long day to put in a homemade slice of lasagna to heat up. Much more filling, much better for me, and much more nourishing. On a number of levels.
I just need to get off my duff and start doing it.
I mean, I eat so much food as it is, it just makes sense that if I'm going to pack it away it at least be good for me. Less prepackaged fries, and more potatoes that are baked in the oven. Less chik patties and more (since I'm eating meat now) local, pasture-raised chicken that I bake myself. More beans and lentils, more veggies, less bread with more than three ingredients. Local over organic if it's a choice, organic over conventional where its prudent and cost effective. Make my own where I can.
Now that I have a kitchen I actually enjoy being in once again, it's time to start putting it to good use.
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