Here’s the thing…
Do we really need recipes for stuff like fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, fruit salad, soups?
Fried potatoes. IT’S IN THE NAME, people.
Scrambled eggs. Same. You don’t even need to do the traditional stovetop method. The oven works too. A hot pan on a grill works.
Fruit salad. To pull a Ron Swanson…cut fruit, mix, eat. Fruit salad.
Soup – simmer or boil food in liquid. More liquid, it’s soup. Less, stew. Almost none, “braised.”
But wait, you say hypothetically. What about different flavor combinations, different spices? How will we learn?
Try every food you can get your hands on – at a friend’s, at potlucks, at restaurants, at the grocery store. Buy spices and try them just to see what they are like. Don’t like it? Then give it away.
To give Pinterest and recipes their due, I have gotten ideas for food combinations from the internet and cookbooks. I do follow some recipes and use certain techniques as needed.
When you actually know how to cook, you won’t be paralyzed when faced with just a few ingredients and a hungry family. It’s okay if you don’t have everything your recipe says that you need. You can improvise! You can even use all different ingredients but similar spices to the original dish, and you will come out the other side with something pretty cool.
What about when you are, for example, overseas with your teenager for whom home-cooked meals speak love, and you have 2 burners and a frying pan? Can you cook spaghetti? Why yes, yes you can, because you can think creatively and not be bound to a specific recipe all the time.
(Pictured – NOT a home-cooked meal in Latvia – but a stack of home made sandwiches and a banana, aka, half of breakfast for M. Meanwhile, I still don’t know what animal that meat originated from and am a little afraid to ask.)
I guess what I’m trying to say is…it’s worth learning how to cook, REALLY cook, so that cooking doesn’t stress you out! Ditch the complicated recipes and just make what tastes really good to you. Be okay with that.
Do we need fancy food? Definitely not. Do we need nourishing, comforting food that bonds us to one another, allows us to serve one another, and helps us feel safe in our communities? Absolutely.