Why You Should Give Cooking A Try

Why You Should Give Cooking A Try

Who doesn't like a good home cooked meal?
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I was taught to cook at a young age and have loved it ever since. I meet people all the time in college who don't know how to cook other than ramen, grilled cheese, water, etc... And I find it crazy that people don't know how to make their own foods. The creation of food is a beautiful art that everyone can taste.

My girlfriend and I love to cook dinners and try new foods together. I'd say it's our favorite hobby. We hop on Pinterest and search for food that we think we'd enjoy. Then we just buy the ingredients we need and go home and cook it up.

I have no research on this, but I think that people are afraid to try and cook. I could be completely wrong, but that's a theory. Cooking is not too complicated; it's mostly heating up pots and pans and putting food in them and turning it over or mixing it before it burns. If the recipe states to do something that I don't know how to do, I go on youtube.com and search how to do it.

I even went through a phase where I would binge-watch Gordon Ramsay demonstration videos. It really inspired me to get in the kitchen and try to do what he did. I know he gets mixed reviews based off of his T.V. shows, but he is an excellent teacher.

Watching him makes me appreciate food more and more.
The one motive behind cooking is getting to taste your work. It's rewarding to spend sometimes over an hour on a meal, working hard to make sure that everything is cooked to perfection and finally getting to sit down and see if everything lives up to the test.

There is not another feeling quite like it.

The next best feeling to that is when other people get to taste your creations and love it. Watching people's faces when they take a bite of your food and tell you how great it is is amazing.

Another great thing about cooking your own meals is that you save a bunch of money. One time, my friends and I made stuffed chicken parmesan for 5 people. The total cost of the ingredients we needed came to around $45. That comes to $9 a person. If we had gone out to eat at Olive Garden, the chicken parmesan would have cost about $15 a person.

When you're cooking, you decide what you get to eat. Have you ever been craving something but not be able to get it because no establishments around you don't have it? Of course, you have; we've all been through it. You can say goodbye to those days.

The worst thing that could happen is that you burn the food, mess up the recipe, or just don't like it. When you don't follow the recipe and don't realize it, it makes for a great story later.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:” Line Matters,

I want to start off by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can’t afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you’re just lazy and you “don’t feel like it”? Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you’re unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the US Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck.” stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:” line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can’t seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to ten people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!”

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the seventeen other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there’s a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 dollar bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of ten times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession - whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food, and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a forty dollar bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes - as if you’re better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you’ll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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My Experience As A Caregiver

I have respect for anyone who takes care of other people.

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Last summer I took up the onerous job of being a caregiver for a home healthcare service. Although I found a different job for this summer, one that aligns more closely with what I'm actually interested in, I would never take back the hard work and dedication that I put into being a caretaker last year because I learned so much and genuinely feel like I made in a difference in the lives of the people whom I helped. At least I know they made a difference in mine.

Being a caregiver helped me overcome simple fears that I've had for years. For instance, I've always hated driving in areas I'm unfamiliar with, but going to a different home every day in neighborhoods that could be up to 50 minutes away from my house made me much more comfortable navigating new places, especially during construction season. I also got over my fear of blood, or have at least learned how to cope with it, by taking the blood sugar of some of the people that I helped take care of.

I was taught lessons that I never would have imagined to learn from a summer job. For the first time in my life I had to cook and I didn't even get to enjoy the food I made. But cooking was just a simple skill I learned. I also realized the importance of patience, and working with ninety-year-olds helped me gain a better perspective on life.

But what last summer truly taught me was the value of the people who spend their time giving back to those who need hands-on help. Caretakers, nurses, moms, doctors, dads, counselors, you name it: they're all life savers and what they do isn't easy.

After working nine hour shifts, traveling to different houses throughout the day and helping people do the simplest tasks, by the time I got home I felt proud but exhausted. I rarely had the energy to take care of myself because I had been so focused on others all day. I also realized that a "bad day" couldn't exist for me because my job required diligence and compassion at every moment.

And my job was easy compared to doctors who go to school for years to work in the medical field or stay-at-home moms who spend every waking second watching their children. I'm so grateful for my experiences as a caretaker, but I accept the fact that that type of work isn't for me. Now more than ever I'm endlessly appreciative of those who spend every single day helping people. Not everyone can do the work that a caregiver does.


Cover Image Credit:

Pexels

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