“If you can read, you can cook.” Zita.
Zita is someone I met many years ago, who was a competent cook and a walking encyclopedia. She had a book, which I found very useful, on diet therapy for people with chronic conditions. It explained a number of common chronic conditions and why people with those conditions need to eat or avoid certain foods. It also had some recipes, if I remember correctly. It started my interest in food for people with special diets. The author of the book wrote about how people with chronic conditions need nutrition, but because there are restrictions on what they can eat, their food tends to be bland and uninteresting, so they end up not wanting to eat. It is a challenge to make meals attractive and tasty with limited ingredients.
I did a short online course on child nutrition and cooking (offered on Coursera) and was very impressed by the course instructor, Maya Adam, who developed a lot of gluten-free recipes because one of her sons is gluten intolerant. She was able to use her knowledge in nutrition in a practical way, she could cook healthy meals. She was a ballerina before she became a doctor, and then a lecturer. I loved her course and the way she involved her three boys in her cooking classes. She talked about mealtimes as being important family time where culture and traditions are learnt. It resonated with me.
Going back to the quote from Zita, it seems logical that if you can read, you can cook, because you should be able to follow the instructions in a recipe. Unfortunately, there are so many people who can’t cook, but they can read. Some people have a natural talent for cooking, but cooking isn’t about talent. It is a basic skill that can be acquired.
I met a journalist who told the story of how she attended cooking classes at the age of thirteen. Her mother cooked three dishes, and her father was happy with the three dishes, but she wanted more variety. The solution was for her to learn how to cook. She never regretted her decision to learn to cook. It added a new dimension to her life: gastronomic experience.
It’s never too late to learn how to cook, you can give your family a surprise and make each mealtime something to look forward to.
By Chayo, Homskil Editor 1, 17 January 2021
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