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View Poll Results: Why do you cook?
I feel like a chef: I can eat high quality food that's exactly the way I want it. 12 36.36%
I feel like a chef: I enjoy the process as much as the results. ( 17 51.52%
It's economical (i.e., cheaper than paying for someone else's food). 11 33.33%
Dietary reasons: I can make food I like within my restrictions. 7 21.21%
My family needs to eat and my private chef is on strike. 7 21.21%
Other (please specify). 9 27.27%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-03-2017, 02:12 PM   #21
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I must eat, therefore I cook.
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:09 PM   #22
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I must eat, therefore I cook.
Or as Descartes would say, "I eat, therefore I am".
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:07 PM   #23
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I should probably explain why I'm separating the love of cooking from cooking for your family, since it makes sense that you'd also love to cook for your family. I knew a woman who ***HATED*** cooking, but she didn't want her kids to have frozen dinners or fast food. So, as any good mother would do, she did what was best for her kids and powered through figuring out how to cook. She's gotten better, but she still hates it (she - and her kids - are happiest when she orders pizza for dinner).

This would be a classic example of someone who feels obligated to cook for her family, but doesn't have any other motive. I don't suspect there will be many people like her on this forum!
That's pretty much our DD!
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:39 PM   #24
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I cook because I need to eat.

That being said I find it cheaper then paying others to cook for me.
I also like to know what's in my meal. No hidden ingredients if you fix it yourself. Well most of the time anyway. Sometimes the ingredients used are prepared by others.

Time is also an issue. Sometimes it's quicker to just fix something while doing things around the house rather then spend the time going to get something.

And I also simply like cooking. It's a never ending learning curve and can be adjusted as tastes change.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:20 PM   #25
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I like eating but I don't necessarily like cooking. I don't mind cooking what I like to eat, as long as I can make it taste as good as in a restaurant or like fast food, but I don't cook for the creativity or the enjoyment.

I cook because I'm on food stamps and it's the only way I will have any food left over at the end of the month. If I were rich, I'd hire a cook (and a dishwasher and a maid).

On the other hand, if something is simple or becomes simple (my goal in cooking is to cook food as fast as I can with as few ingredients as I can and still have it taste good), I've surprised myself by enjoying putting some recipes together, especially when they come out well. Plus, checking out blogs and recipes has given me a whole new range of good (usually fattening) things to eat.
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Old 03-04-2017, 06:28 AM   #26
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I'll cook at work for 9-10 hours a day and then get home around 6:30 and start to cook dinner for ourselves. I'm forever trying to perfect dishes..I try really hard to make it as good as I can, paying attention of details. Things should be browned just right, cooked to the point of done but not over done, look as appealing as taste. Most everything from scratch. I have a tendency to gravitate towards the classics. Not that I don't like eating everything, it's just the availability of ingredients in my area is pretty limited. I'll plan a meal all day, stopping off at a shop on the way home to grab ingredients that I need for dinner...

A small town dweller, we have never had access to good restaurants so if we wanted to try certain dishes, we basically had to figure out how to create a reasonable facsimile ourselves...
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:18 AM   #27
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Been cooking since age 8 because, being the oldest, I was tasked with cooking for my family because my mother was (honest, but sad), lazy and discovered that I was capable in the kitchen in spite of my young age. I've now been cooking for 60+ years.

At first, it was a chore and I had A LOT of learning to do but I managed and, when I was 13, enrolled myself in a mail order cookbook-of-the-month club. I still have the 4 original books I selected...for a whole dollar! What a deal! I remained a member of the club for at least 15 years and accumulated a variety of cookbooks that educated and fascinated me.

By the time I'd reached my mid-teens, I discovered that I really liked to cook and did my best, given what I had to work with, to produce tasty, wholesome and attractive meals for my family.

When my cooking journey began, I cooked because I had to and only viewed it as a chore to get done, plus my family had to eat.

College time was more an experience of study, study, study, throw some food in my face, sleep a little, the study, study, study...Real cooking was nowhere on my radar at that time.

I married the first time when I was still in my teens and entered a relationship that included a pre-kindergarten son and a husband who believed himself to be a gourmand. Yes, he did enjoy fine/good food but he was as I learned too late, not who he claimed to be, food and dining included.

At any rate, I did have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom, which gave me the time to pursue my love of cooking and I used my time wisely. That's when my interest in cuisines of the world began to blossom, along with my cookbook collection. One whole wall of my kitchen (ceiling to floor) had shelves running over with books that tempted and called to me daily. This may be one of the reasons that my children rarely turned their noses up at any kind of food and will eat nearly anything. No picky eaters in the house. Yeah!!!!

Then, I met and married Buck who was as much fun to cook for as anyone could ever be. He loved to cook, too, and many of our "dates" before we married centered around cooking, food, shopping for food, pots and pans and the kitchen. If any two people were "enablers," we were. Both of us should've signed up with "cooking/food/pots & pans anonymous!"

As our 32 years together passed, our roles evolved and changed. After all the children flew the nest and we moved to Kentucky for retirement, Buck became more the sous chef than the chef and cheered me on in the kitchen. It was a joyous time and we created and enjoyed hundreds of memorable meals.

Once we moved to Kentucky, we didn't eat out very often because, geographically, there was nothing much beyond fast food fare within a reasonable driving distance, so our solution was having our own fine dining experience at home. I'm almost embarrassed to add that he was as big a cookbook fiend as I and we amassed scores more of recipe-filled volumes. It wasn't/isn't unusual for me to read a cookbook like someone else might read a novel. I still succumb to a "delicious" title every time and my list of titles exceeds 2,200 now.

After Buck died, I lived in a year-long fog and ate and/or cooked very little. I didn't realize it but I lost a great deal of weight because of it. I lived alone and didn't see many people often and had no way of knowing. I'd had the starch knocked out of me and I simply didn't care. I ate only enough to get by. There are large parts of that year I don't remember at all. Perhaps that's a good thing.

Having said all of the above, I have discovered that I love to cook. I enjoy the precision of some of it (referring mainly to baking), I love the ordered manner of it, the textures, fragrances, sights and, best of all, the tastes.

Cooking, as others have related, relaxes me and it fulfills one of the things that makes me happiest...after all the mixing, stirring, blending and cooking of what may appear to be random ingredients, I'm rewarded with something I can enjoy and share with others.

One of my favorite George Carlin remarks was one he made to his mother about something she'd prepared from one of her cookbooks. He commented, "But does it LOOK LIKE the picture?"

I can now proudly say I can make it LOOK LIKE the picture!!

I'm by nature, a very curious person and feed my curiosity by testing and experimenting in the kitchen when I want to "tweak" a recipe or create a completely new one because, you know what...I think X, Y and Z ingredients might be a stellar combination?

I am fortunate, in that, Glenn will eat darned near anything and has no dietary restrictions. That last part of the sentence becomes part of life as we age, but neither of us has succumbed to any food limitations. Unless, you consider moving the spoon or fork to our mouth too frequently.

He's not as "kitcheny" as Buck and much prefers for me to cook and create without his supervision or assistance, unless I request it. That's okay with me. Everyone's different, but he's hell on wheels when it comes to taking corn off the cob! Quick and surgical. I'm all for it. Not my favorite task.

How do I consider myself when it comes to cooking? I'm not a chef by any means, but there are plenty of folks who would loudly dispute that statement. I am skilled through experience, curiosity and reading. By now, I can intuitively read a recipe and, pretty much, tell if it's worth trying or sending to the round file.

I try, and I say try, to cook a new recipe as it is written the "first" time without any customizations or tweaks. In some cases, especially with savory dishes, I sometimes have to slap my hands to leave the recipe alone because the need/desire to change some little thing or to add something is so overwhelming.

I don't do as much cooking as I would like right now because, over the last 18 months or so, I've been going through some taxing health issues and, now, Glenn is right in the middle of something not so pleasant for him. So, you might say, cooking is taking a back burner. Except for keeping body and soul together.

We'll get back to adventures with cooking and food again, I'm certain and I'm looking forward to it. Going through the produce portion of our market is food porn to me and it's getting harder by the day to resist. Plus, every new issue of Southern Living that I pluck from my mailbox is making me nuts. I could eat the cover photos alone! Well, at least, the paper would be high in fiber.

My answer is long, but there you have it.
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:24 PM   #28
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My answer is long, but there you have it.
Long but wonderful and I thank you for sharing it with us.

Cooking is something that needs to be done and each and everyone has a different need and desire to do it or not.

No right way or wrong way IMO. It's what fits your wants, tastes, and situation.

But I see me beginning to ramble so I'll say thanks again and leave it at that.
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:55 PM   #29
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Or as Descartes would say, "I eat, therefore I am".
I compute, therefore IBM
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:31 PM   #30
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Wow! this has to be one of the most interesting threads we have had in a long time.

Thanks to all the contributors for all they had to share.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:34 PM   #31
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When I was a lad of 19, I married a sweet girl who was raised on down home country cooking.. For the first 20 years of our marriage she did all the cooking while I jumped in here and there.. When I was 40 years old, she gifted me with a wok, basic tools and a Chinese cookbook.. I became hooked and branched off into various ethnic cooking endeavors while learning some of her favorite dishes.. A fun thing was having our, by then, grown children and their friends over for a 'new dinner' I came up with.. We would sit and eat and then it was thumbs up or thumbs down time.. We enjoyed that and still laugh about those days..

After 33 years of marriage, she passed away.. Our kids were grown and scattered so I sold our home and moved back to my home town..

I eventually became reacquainted with a girl I'd dated in high school (in the 50's) and we became a couple.. She preferred that I cook and she clean up... Worked for me..

I took a serious interest in cooking for us, family and friends.. When I discovered computers, my interest expanded to searching for new, interesting dishes to prepare.. I spent a lot of time gathering recipes, adapting them to our tastes and just having fun with all things cooking..

Now at 77 years old, I have pared back on preparing big meals and we have simplified our daily intake of food along with most everything else in our lives..

While I don't get fancy anymore, I still have a passion for everything kitchen and live out my passion through following food blogs, etc..
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Old 03-04-2017, 05:34 PM   #32
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Sounds like the rest of us. As we age our tastes change and our appetites call for less food. I still miss cooking for my large family. Now they are all out on their own except one. And I let him do most of the cooking. He is a really great cook. But then he learned from his father who was a pro chef.

Welcome to DC.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:18 AM   #33
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Sounds like the rest of us. As we age our tastes change and our appetites call for less food. I still miss cooking for my large family. Now they are all out on their own except one. And I let him do most of the cooking. He is a really great cook. But then he learned from his father who was a pro chef.

Welcome to DC.
I so wish. One of my diet goals is to cut portion size. I haven't been doing real well, unfortunately, although I did lose two real pounds last month (bet I gained it back in the last two days, though ).
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:03 AM   #34
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I so wish. One of my diet goals is to cut portion size. I haven't been doing real well, unfortunately, although I did lose two real pounds last month (bet I gained it back in the last two days, though ).
After my grandfather developed Type II diabetes, my grandmother literally measured out his food with measuring cups and a scale.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:57 AM   #35
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I so wish. One of my diet goals is to cut portion size. I haven't been doing real well, unfortunately, although I did lose two real pounds last month (bet I gained it back in the last two days, though ).
Don't use a dinner plate. Use a salad plate. It hold less food. And use a small cereal bowl for soups and cereal. Sounds sill I know, but it works.
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Old 03-06-2017, 07:02 AM   #36
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Having a strong science background, Ive always been interested in how things work, how to make things ...

Then when I became vegetarian ( about 30 years ago), it wasn't as 'main stream' as it is today. There were few options(which were usually crap anyway) and few places to purchase those options . Therefore, making your own was the only way to ensure something decent to eat.

My wife is and has always been a recipe follower. She can't create, she just does it by the book. Nothing wrong with that, but she also doesn't enjoy cooking. My mom was the same way, which is why my dad did most of the cooking for our family.

It all started very simple by doctoring up already made sauces or soups ( maybe adding spice, or wine, or cut up veggies, pasta...). Then it graduated to watching cooking shows on tv ( pre food channel and all that crap). 99% of the dishes on tv that time were meat or fish, with the occasional veggie side dish. But, with my experimental nature, Id watch closely, learning new ingredients, techniques, cuisines, and try to do the best I can to either make substitutions to vegetarianize them, or just get the basic flavor profile to create my own.

Over the years, things have gotten easier, now being hobby instead of a necessity, Ive invested in new and better kitchen equipment and gadgets, many more options ( ingredients) to choose from and acquire. With the internet and a countless # of food shows, the learning is endless. I now go to at least 2 or 3 Food and Wine festivals, sampling many new things and meeting chefs, watching cooking demos ...

So it all started because of limited options due to dietary restrictions and desire to learn how things are made ( like chemistry), but has grown into a hobby and a passion.

Ive had my failures ( many dishes have wound up as food for the chickens, or in earlier days, tossed over the fence ( literally). I've learned to kind of be able to 'taste' the final dish just by reading the recipe, which probably saves me from a lot of failures.

My passion for gardening also fuels my desire to cook. having an unlimited amount of fresh veggies from May - October totally fuels my Culinary fire. And now with the root cellar ( which was a complete success), Im still using potatoes and onions from last year ( in addition to the tomatoes, string beans and okra I have in the freezer)
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:17 PM   #37
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I cook to relax. Most Sundays I try and do dinner. Grill, smoker, slow cooker it doesn't matter. I enjoy it.

One thing I like to do is try the Food Wars anime recipes. I've done a few of them and they work and are fun.

It's a hobby to me. Wish I had more time, I'd cook every night.
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Old 03-02-2020, 03:54 PM   #38
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Because I'm a cook.
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:26 PM   #39
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I enjoy the creativity of it.

It comes easy to me.

I can make meals that are better than most of the restaurants I go to. I don't go to expensive $$$$-$ places. Most of the time I eat out for convenience or I'm going to a place I can't or don't care to try and replicate their food. I'll never eat steak at a restaurant again, no place I've been to in years makes a better steak than I do.

I enjoy cooking for others.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:16 PM   #40
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I cook mostly because I like to eat. It saves me a bunch of money over having it cooked for me and it (usually) tastes better too. I enjoy serving healthy, tasty food. And yes, it's an enjoyable activity that can include just about any level of creativity. I just wish I had more energy these days. Lack of energy puts a damper on what I am willing to cook nowadays. It's one of the ways that getting old is a PITA.
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