Three hundred and forty-seven

My cooking skills

“My goal is to make it thirty days.  My dream is for this to change my habits of eating badly, not taking enough time for myself, and not cooking enough real food.” – from the beginning of my first blog, 30 Days of Home Cooking – April  1, 2010

Yesterday I wrote of reading my posts and reliving some of the events that have happened this year.  I also got to reading some of the original blog that started the idea to do a year of social experiments – “30 Days of Home Cooking“.  The pursuit of cooking skills.  The change in my eating habits to benefit not only my health, but my way of interacting with food.   It was April 2010 when I taught myself how to bake a chicken breast, cook with leeks, make pizza dough from scratch.  I spent one month eating only home-cooked food.  It’s a cringe-worthy read for me – did I really get that excited about making pasta without the jar of pre-made sauce and talk about smoked meat on bagels as home cooked?

My cooking skills have developed enormously since I didn’t know how to make a soup or pasta sauce from scratch two years ago.  I would actually call myself a cook now.  I now cook at home most of the week, eating leftovers the others nights, or sometimes eating out (but not nearly as often as I used to).  I rarely use pre-packaged items, instead opting to make whatever it is myself.  This past year in particular I’ve really learned a lot about what to do in the kitchen.  Cooking 30 Countries taught me about about international food.  Vegan month taught me how to cook healthy meals.  And Life at the Poverty Line taught me how to do it all cheaply.

What I find the most enlightening, however, of all that I’ve learned about preparing food is not to forget the simple things.  I was so excited during 30 Days of Home Cooking when I was hungry at work and my co-worker taught me about avocado on toast.  Why I had never tried that before is beyond me.  And my raw vegan foods post in October really hit home all the nutrients in simple, fresh foods.

I do love to cook a good curry now, or throw together a delicious soup from leftovers in the fridge.  But I also recognize the value in a simple snack of avocado, lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper.  My dream two years ago was to change my eating habits, take time to cook, and eat more real food.  I’ve definitely accomplished this, and I couldn’t have done it without all the research and experimentation I did this year.


“Peeling Potatoes” (an oldie, from 30 Days of Home Cooking)