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Home Cooking

January 25, 2012

“Home cooking” is a funny term.  When I hear it I think of meat loaf.  But why?  I never cook meat loaf.  I didn’t have meat loaf all that much as a kid.  But for some reason, that’s what comes to mind when I think of home cooking.  And something tells me I’m not the only one.  After all, Ralphie’s kid brother Randy didn’t say “Crabcake, smabcake, double bagcake.  I hate crabcake”.

Whatever it means, I love it.  I love meatloaf.  But I also love crab cakes.  One thing I have to say about my being diagnosed with Celiac disease is that it forced something on me that is both a curse and a blessing.  It is something that I learned and accepted early on; that if I was going to eat the things I loved, I was going to have to cook them.  It is a blessing, because I have learned and continue to learn to cook things I would have never otherwise, and it is fun and delicious.  It is a curse because there are times I simply don’t. want. to.

I wonder how people feel about home cooking and how interesting it is that a favorite restaurant campaign is one of “home cooking”.  If you want home cooking, why not, you know, stay home and cook?  Ah, but of course.  Cooking is a lost art.  It hasn’t been that long ago that everyone was in my shoes.  If you wanted the foods you loved, you had to cook it.  Then again, maybe that’s why everyone had meatloaf.

In my opinion, mediocre home cooking is better than above average restaurant food.  I consider myself an above average cook, so of course I would say I would put my cooking up with most any restaurant you could name.  And I guess I also have the advantage of coming from a family of cooks, so maybe my idea of mediocre is someone else’s above average…maybe the typical homemade fare out there is not what I’m used to.  Whatever, there is something about food made by hand with love and attention that is special.  People who would rather have a meal prepared by professionals, even at a high level, are missing out.

Take, for example, my 16-year-old son.  He’s broke.  Of course.  Still looking for his first job and is shocked, shocked! he hasn’t scored one off the couple internet applications he filled out.  So he wanted to have a date and serve his girlfriend dinner that he cooked (pronounced “dad cooked”).  So The Wife and I set up the room upstairs with a table and candles and cooked them a nice “home-cooked” meal.  The Wife even put on her apron from her serving days at The Olive Garden and served them.

Here’s the meal:  I sautéed some chicken cutlets in olive oil.  After all the cutlets were done, I made a pan sauce by adding some white wine to deglaze the pan, reduced, then added cream and salt and pepper.  Done. (they’re 16 y’know…have to make sure there are no UFO’s (unidentified floating objects) in the food).  Mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli with toasted pine nuts.  So very simple, but quite elegant in presentation (Sautéed Chicken Breast In A Peppercorn Cream Sauce With Creamy Mashed Potatoes And Roasted Broccoli With Toasted Pine Nuts…).  And delicious.  Oh, and my cream of tomato soup as an appetizer.

My point is that it’s not that difficult to make home cooking taste as good as restaurant fare.  Which they work so hard to make taste like home cooking.  Or something.

And as proof, my son’s girlfriend scarfed down her food like she’d been fasting for lent.  They’re only 16, so, who knows…but she’d fit in just fine.


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One Comment
  1. linda k. stevens permalink

    lucky kids!!! 🙂

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