The Value of Cooking from Scratch
Has cooking become a lost art? At times it seems like scratch cooking skills have become a thing of the past. I grew up in a home where meal preparation was an important part of our day. Everyone pitched in to help and the dinner table was a focal point for our family. Decades later, I found that daily cooking amidst the hustle and bustle of work, school and sports was challenging yet still possible. When attempting to live a simpler life, it is important to practice being frugal and creative in the kitchen. The benefits of home cooking are endless in my opinion, but a few stand out as highlights for homestead living.
Simple meals made with seasonal ingredients taste better than something previously frozen or canned in a factory. Warm bread from the oven or a fresh salad from the vegetable garden always win over their store bought counterparts. Food is meant for enjoyment in addition to nutrition, and is truly a comfort at times.
Time is money, and ounce for ounce we pay extra for convenience foods. However, cooking multiple dishes at once maximizes your time spent in the kitchen and saves money in the long run. Weekdays are challenging for most of us, but carving out a few hours on the weekend can get those meals prepped in advance. While a chicken is roasting in the oven, brown up some ground beef or turkey that will be used for a meal later in the week. Chop up those fresh veggies so they will be ready to go when needed. Cooking from scratch allows you to buys many ingredients in bulk instead of 2-4 serving sizes for a significant savings.
Do you or a family member have food allergies? Are you conscious of sodium intake? When you prepare your meals yourself you know exactly what is in them. There are no concerns about genetically modified ingredients or unwanted preservatives. When cooking from scratch you can control what you consume.
Cooking skills are an integral part of an emergency preparedness plan. Preppers often store ingredients rather than packaged meals, so it is important that we know how to prepare them! A tasty pot of rice and beans is not a complicated dish, but it does take some practice. Incorporating these items in your daily meal preparations will ensure that you are able to fix them during an emergency situation.
I still have several cookbooks and a recipe box full of tried and true meals, but the internet is a fantastic resource for cooking from scratch. Whether you are looking for a specific dish or wanting some new ideas for a meal that contains chicken breast and potatoes, plug a few keywords into a search engine and you are on your way!