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Cooking is not Hard

Updated on November 3, 2010
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Just give me an onion and some mushrooms

With all of the cooking programs on TV, and the proliferation of cookbooks, some as costly as a new pair of shoes added to all the websites with their videos of "how to " would think there is something mystical about putting a meal on the table.

There is not!

Although, I did not know it at the time, I was fortunate to have been reared primarily by my Grandmothers. These women was as different as night and day. As far as I know, they had only three things in common. They had reared their own children during the Great Depression, they were good cooks and they could each make a meal out of almost nothing. It would be a meal that you enjoyed eating.

Do you remember the childhood story of " Nail Soup"? A community was hungry and a traveler appeared promising a soup if only someone would donate a nail, of course someone did. He then promised the soup would be heartier if someone donated a potato, and someone did. But only if he could be given an onion.............remember now?

That is the very process of cooking. Food processors, choppers, meat grinders, professional knives, slicers and a whole slew of kitchen gadgets have their place, and I own a few of these myself, but they make the job (s) easier, not possible. I have been canning tomatoes for years, learned at my Grandmother's knee. It was only yesterday, that I learned there is a tomato press!

Just yesterday, I made BBQ sauce, from scratch for the pulled pork sandwiches, a coleslaw with cabbage and carrots using as my only tools, a paring knife and cutting boards. Today, I will be cutting a chicken with a pair of old sewing scissors. My husband says that I have no respect for knives. (men) I will also be substituting the cheddar cheese in scalloped potatoes with Velvetta.

Give me a piece of meat, some onion and mushrooms and I will make you something to eat. If you have some rice or potatoes we can have a meal. If we can round up some bell peppers and herbs and spices, we can invite company to join us.

If you need a recipe to cook, then by all means use it, you can find them everywhere. Keep in mind that it is a guide, much like a sewing pattern and you have the power to change it according to your taste and size. The only time I use a recipe is when I bake breads or deserts. If I just know the basic ingredients, I can duplicate the dish. With some practice and confidence you can too.

Adding your own spices and herbs is far less expensive than your spice packets and meals in boxes. If you are pinched for time, pre-chopped peppers , onions and mushrooms are available in most produce sections. So is fruit.

Don't let the chefs intimidate you with their fancy talk about procedures and techniques. Cooking is as old as fire and eating predates them both. Go for the gusto! Experiment and learn.

A professional cook told you this. Hide me from the chefs!


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