The Cheerio box and the recipe

Source: Pinterest via Sarah Anton
When I was twenty-something, I regularly logged 12-14 hour days. Each evening I returned home to a lonely cat and a bowl of Cheerios. After downing a milky bowl of cereal, I plopped down on my sofa, watched old episodes of Ally McBeal, and sipped from a glass of mediocre red wine.

It was a well ingrained habit.

One evening, though, as my cat wrapped her feathery tail around my legs and I began to assemble my ultra simple and dreadfully boring meal, I realized I hated to cook for one simple reason: I couldn't cook without a recipe.

Recipes are laborious, and they always require ingredients you don't have in your refrigerator.  Who needs that?

So I took a cooking class, and I urge you to eke out some time to take one if you can. Because in a cooking class you learn how to cook, and you gain the ability and the confidence to open up your refrigerator and make something tasty with whatever is there.

I took home recipes from my classes but, more importantly, I learned the skills I needed to move freely within my kitchen, to become the mistress of the last minute meal. I learned how to use knives. I learned how to sauté. I learned how to roast meat and broil fruit and vegetables. I learned how to use herbs to season not only fish and poultry, but fruits and desserts.

Give it a try, because enjoying fresh, home cooked meals is the cornerstone of living a healthy life. We all want that, don't we?

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