I Cook Because…

by formerchef on February 24, 2010

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Respected food writer Michael Ruhlman recently wrote an interesting blog post about why he cooks and threw down the gauntlet to other bloggers to “spell it out” why we cook.

I cook because:

  • Because I love it, plain and simple. I love food, eating and almost everything that surrounds it. This extends to my other passion, travel. Because I love to cook and eat, when I travel I always focus on seeing what people in other places eat, how they shop and how their food impacts the culture. Sometimes I even cook when I travel utilizing the best local ingredients.
  • Because I can. A lot of people are intimidated by cooking and while certain aspects of cooking still intimidate me, throwing together a quick dinner made with fresh ingredients is not one of them. This is also why I blog about cooking; because I want to show people it’s not that hard to eat well by cooking it yourself.
  • Because I’m thrifty. Cooking allows me to spend substantially less on food and still eat well. It costs a lot to eat out a few times a week. I’d rather use that money to eat out when we travel.
  • Because I’m naturally inquisitive and want to learn how to do things. This is why I’m always trying new things like learning how to make bacon, how to make cheese, experimenting with vegan cooking, bread baking, or making ravioli from scratch. I love the act of taking something raw and creating something new out of it.
  • Because I grew up in a family of great cooks where cooking at home was the norm, special occasions were celebrated with feasts at home or at my Grandmother’s house rather than in a restaurant.
  • Because it’s healthier than eating pre-packaged processed food or fast food. This is common sense, right? But I learned it first hand when we remodeled our kitchen a few years ago and spent an entire summer eating out or eating microwave meals. I felt horrible at the end of just two months of it.
  • Because I like to feed people. Who doesn’t like to make people happy? There is nothing like the immediate response you get when you give someone something delicious.
  • Because I’m impatient. It’s often faster and easier for me to make something at home than to go out.

I sometimes don’t cook because:

  • Because I’m tired and I just don’t feel like it.
  • Because I want something different and it’s just easier to go out than make it at home (Vietnamese Pho or Bun Cha, a Chinese Dim Sum brunch with friends, etc.)
  • Because it’s easier. There are some things which I’ve made once or twice to learn how to do it but it’s simply easier for me to buy (croissants).
  • Because sometimes I simply want to go out and enjoy a meal in a restaurant.


Share with me, what are the reasons why you cook?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 fattydumpling February 24, 2010 at 8:14 am

I cook because I am hungry. I also cook because food is delicious, like the recipes on this blog of yours! I want to try out that tofu taco thing…

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2 formerchef February 24, 2010 at 8:40 am

Thank you! Do try the tacos, they were great!

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3 Johanna February 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

I cook because I grew up cooking. My mom was a traditional stay at home mom who had dinner on the table when dad got home from work. I grew up watching and learning from her. Her mom was a phenomenal cook, also. My fondest memories are hanging out at grandmas having our “cooking classes.” I would go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients for one of her recipes, head over to her house, and say “teach me how to make this.” We would spend the rest of the day, just the two of us making one of her recipes, talking and laughing, and reading National Enquirers while something was in the oven. When she passed away, the only thing of hers I wanted was her cast iron skillets.

From this background my love of cooking grew, and I began to tackle more complicated things. About ten years ago, I started watching Lidia Bastianich on my local PBS station, and have since worked my way through most of her cookbooks.

I cook because it’s the only talent I have. Trust me, you don’t want to hear me sing. You wouldn’t want me to paint your portrait. But I make a darned good Osso Bucco.

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4 formerchef February 24, 2010 at 8:43 am

Johanna, thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I’m right there with you…you do not want to hear me sing! But let me cook…

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5 nellybarker February 24, 2010 at 11:54 am

I grew up eating largely meals that come from boxes (e.g. Hamburger Helper – yuck), and it’s been really exciting for me to discover that I can make really delicious things at home. And if I’m not rushed, I find cooking to be relaxing and fun.

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6 Sharon February 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I cook because I like my own food better than anyone else’s. I cook what I like to eat the way I like to eat it. I don’t cook when I want a particular dish from a particular restaurant. I do cook when I’m tired because cooking gives me “energy” even when I’m exhausted.

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7 nyc/caribbean ragazza February 25, 2010 at 4:11 am

I cook because I love to eat.

I cook more now because I live near great farmer’s markets that are open 6 days a week.

I cook because for a long time I didn’t cook and ate poorly.

I cook because I can no longer stand most processed foods.

I cook because I love wine and it goes well with food.

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8 formerchef February 25, 2010 at 5:16 am

Nelly-So true! Hopefully cooking should never be stressful but always relaxing and fun.

Sharon-All great reasons!

NYC-Lucky you living near so many farmer’s markets!

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9 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen March 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Great post!

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10 Elliott March 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I cook because I love creating. For me, to begin with a bag of fresh tomatoes and some odd spices, cream and chicken broth and end with a beautiful, fresh-tasting batch of creamy tomato soup is art that I don’t get to experience in my everyday life.

I also cook because I like using my hands. As a student I spend a lot of time using my eyes, ears and brain to analyze the things around me. When I get home, there isn’t much more gratifying to me than putting on wonderful music and digging my hands in to knead a batch of dough. There’s something very visceral and fulfilling about creating m own food from scratch with my own hands.

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11 Olga March 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

In Russia \ Ukraine still cook :) To eat in restaurants is expensive, so most of the food – home :)

You have interesting and tasty recipes. Thank you. I am glad to learn something new :)

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