Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Let’s Give ‘Em Somethin’ to Blog About

Didn’t Bonnie Rait have a song by that name? It must have been playing in a TGIF Restaurant somewhere in America; the place I’ve often thought to myself: what’s the bigger treat for an American? Going out to eat or staying home to cook something special? I posed this question to a few people, who did more than think deeply on the matter. They actually did a compare/contrast exercise that explored having breakfast, lunch and dinner at their own table, vs. a favorite franchise. In the end there was no clear winner, but I’d like to think cooking at home won.
Here’s why. While everyone loves a break from kitchen detail, the big tabs at restaurants seem to run up in minutes, and often times we leave these establishments feeling overstuffed, overcharged and underserved. So ladies and gentleman, I give you:

The 3 Types of People Who End Up Loving Their Cookbooks
These are the folks who buy the most cookbooks, and I love them for it. Do you see yourself in any of these descriptions?

·         The Prideful, “Everyone Ought to Know Their Way Around the Kitchen” Type: On any given Sunday, these souls can be found ooing and awing at their local Williams & Sonoma. Ask any one of these guys how they feel about restaurants, and they’re likely to say they avoid them as a point of pride. There’s no one better to grill that steak, blanch those greens or fry that omelet than, well, YOU. Everyone should have the basic knowledge and skills to feed themselves a decent meal.

·         The “Oh My God, I Spent What in Restaurants this Year?!” Type: One of the foodie friends I consulted for this piece fits squarely into this category. She and her spouse are combing through credit card statements right now in attempt to itemize at tax time. “Out of all the monthly charges, trips to restaurants are the biggest,” claim the pair. “Whether we bring the whole family, or it’s just the two of us, dining out starts at 40 bucks and can climb as high as 100—it was good, but not worth THAT. I can turn right around and put the cost of ONE dinner out into sacks of high end groceries and eat like a King!” So true, my friends. So true.

·         The “I want to Live Forever and Have a Small Waistline in the Meantime” Type: Being overweight can cause a plethora of health problems. Turning that around is, if you’ll pardon the pun, heavily influenced by cooking light. And IT IS TRUE that when you cook for yourself, rather than let a chef behind the scenes do it, you can absolutely control how much butter, how much sugar, how much salt, etc. And if you are splurging at home with fattening ingredients, at least you know exactly how much, and what kind of penance is required!

Okay, so I’m Type…..

Oh, #1 on the list for sure! If I’d titled it A-C, I’d be “Type A”, which is pretty funny. I do believe that it’s empowering to know how to wield a boning knife, roast a chicken, shake up a mean vinaigrette. I’d also cry into my pillow every night if I didn’t know the indescribable joy of baking my own bread and birthday cakes. Cooking without additives, preservatives, trans fats and artificial flavorings may be harder than tearing into store packaging, or giving the hostess at The Cheesecake Factory your name, but it’s worth it. Am I right??
Which type are YOU and what cookbooks are you gonna buy this year?

1 comment:

Jen said...

I'm not a cookbook lover, nor do I collect them - if I get one, I'll read through every list of ingredients to find something that looks good (I'm a picky eater and a totally non-adventurous cook), copy it, then donate the cookbook to Goodwill. I just did this with a cookbook and probably saved only 5% of the recipes. Pretty pathetic, huh? My favorites are the America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country annuals because I learn so much!

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