Why I Still Cook From Scratch

A pan of brownies is in the oven and the batter didn’t originate within a box. I just rolled lake caught white bass filets in cornmeal that I seasoned myself. Fried, it will become the centerpiece of our family’s evening meal, accompanied by fried potatoes and some frozen corn. Until just a few weeks ago, the corn would have been roasting ears that my children and I picked at their grandmother’s home last summer but our supply has dwindled.

When my daughters arrive home from school, they will help prepare supper. Megan can make a fine pan of cornbread and Emily can turn out biscuits quite nicely along with other simple feats.

We are the exception in today’s society, if a recent museum display in Carthage is a true mirror of our culture.

Not only do I prepare the majority of our family’s meals from scratch, we also gather around the table for supper each evening. On weekends we gather for breakfast and lunch as well. We’re not the Cleaver family or the Brady bunch but we are a real family living in the 21st century.

I cook meals for my family in a fashion not unlike the way that my mother and both grandmothers prepared food for their families. Some of my recipes and methods are even older, dating back to great-grandmothers and beyond. Their ways were taught to their daughters who handed it down through the generations to me.

We also enjoy a meal out – often at least once a week but I enjoy cooking. I’ve cooked for enough years that I’ve mastered the craft. Now I teach my daughters how to cook as well. If I am antiquated in these early years of a new century, then Emily and Megan will be dinosaurs from another age if trends continue to remove food preparation from the home.

Most of the cooking I do is far from fancy. It’s simple and almost anyone of either gender could learn to cook if they approach it with an open mind, eager to learn. If more of those in pursuit of good home cooking would forgo a few after school sports or activities, if Mom and Dad would make arriving home by the supper hour a priority, perhaps the world would be a little calmer, the pace of life a bit slower.

None of us can return to the past save in memory. But we can touch those who walked this trail before by taking a little time to smell the cooking.

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