I Agree with Baroness Jenkin ~ a bit!

I agree with Baroness Jenkin that “poor people do not know how to cook”...

... or at least quite a few of them don’t but I’d go further than the Baroness.  I don’t think all rich people know either, nor many of the middling sort of chaps and this is something I’ve been banging on about for some while.

Several years ago I remember some “fact” in the media stating that people (it didn't say how rich they were) can’t cook these days because my generation was the last to learn by watching their mothers do it. I sometimes watched my Mum and probably picked up a few ideas but for the most part I am self-taught and I have to say it was a piece of quite easy and I have written several blog posts on this very subject, such as ...

I am also trying in my very humble way to get some helpful info out there in the form of ebooks – this one is free, the others are just cheap - see them on Amazon for kindle versions or Smashwords for all sorts of formats including pdf.

In an interview by Marks and Spencer, no less, I was asked what had been the inspiration behind my blog and writing. I knew the answer immediately – irritation.  I am amazed, discombobulated and yes, irritated by all the things people don’t know about food, eating, cooking, best before dates and so on.

I often joke that cooking is just cutting things up and making them hot. I realise there is a fair bit more to it than that but cooking really is not at all difficult. I am not suggesting that everyone should learn to cook like … I dunno … Heston Blumenthal or Ottolenghi (or me?!) but it would be time very well invested indeed to learn how to feed yourself quickly, easily, economically, deliciously and to your very own tastes.

I take on board that, as Jack Monroe points out, some homes don’t have cooking facilities other than a microwave and do sympathise (very much) with people in such a situation.  If it was me, though, I would put that microwave through its paces because you actually can cook some pretty good meals in them.  I haven’t written anything on this but lots of people have, a quick search on Amazon for “microwave cooking” revealed 3,221 results. There’s got to be some useful info there and, of course, you can get most of these books from the library so even if you are poor you can afford to read them.

As Baroness Jenkin also said ...

"Life is considerably cheaper if you are able to cook."

... to which I would add that it is also considerably more pleasant and more healthy.

In short, if you like yourself and want to make yourself healthy, happy and maybe a little richer – stop making excuses and get cooking! (Oops I hope I don’t have to resign after saying that!)

I am assembling a collection of useful articles to help with cooking in a Flipboard Magazine entitled "Learn to Cook"! (did you guess?)


Lynne said...

Dear Suzie, I completely agree with you. I was annoyed by her directing her remark at "The Poor", because lots of poor people CAN cook, and in fact she should have said Lots of people these days can't cook.

When I was Health Visiting it shocked me how many young mothers - of all social backgrounds and incomes - could not cook. Had no idea!
Now while like you I am mostly self-taught, and apart from fairy cakes, gravy, and dumplings and Scouse, my mum didn't actually TEACH me how to cook, but her example was there, as was yours, presumably. I absorbed without realising her shopping, preparation and cooking of food, understood what it entailed. We now have a whole generation of children growing up, many of whom have never seen their mothers cook, never had a lesson or discussion about cookery at school.
I'm all for people lie Jamie who bring ordinary cooking into the lives of his viewers- some of it will rub off. The same with some other TV chefs who are not into the celebrity/ competitive business.
We need to spread the word!!

Sudden Lunch ~ Suzy Bowler said...

Thank you! I do, in my humble way, keep trying to get some info out there but it's not easy. I think people are daunted by the very idea of cooking when it really isn't scary!