Thursday, September 10, 2009

Home Cookin': It Isn't Just for Housewives Any More!

What is it about Mr. ELV's blog that always gets me thinking? Today, he talked about how he hasn't gone out for dinner in five days. I can see how this is shocking news for a restaurant critic, but this is pretty much my ordinary life. And worse yet, I know people who haven't gone out to eat in months!

Sometimes, it really sucks when I plan weeks ahead for a glorious night out with someone special... Only for it to be taken away when the someone special is hurt and in a wheelchair and/or a friend calls to borrow money from me because the bank screwed with his account. It really sucks that I can't eat out that often these days because I may be only one broken leg or one broken window away from financial ruin. And yes, it really sucks when my next great vacation full of culinary bliss is always at risk of vanishing away if I ever lose the roommate at the house or my dad needs money to pay for my grandmother's next trip to the hospital.

Let's face it, this rotten economy is ruining a good night out for all of us. So what do we do?

Fortunately, I still enjoy the privilege of eating out at restaurants about once or twice a week. The rest of the time, I've been eating in. Yes, I'm learning to cook more and more... And I don't feel sad or frustrated about it.

Last weekend, my dad was pretty wowed when I turned his beloved “eggs & potatoes” (yes, he really isn’t into “fancy food” like I am) into a breakfast frittata that had his taste buds singing. Let’s see, I also think my “Mexitalianese” stir fry with extra firm tofu strips, shredded carrots, sundried tomatoes, and Parmigiano Reggiano for dinner recently was another winner. I just can’t wait until tomorrow when I’ll have time to make my signature gnocchi dish (with crimini mushrooms, shittake mushrooms, and Manchego cream sauce) for dinner!

Maybe I’m weird, but I feel most comfortable when I’m in my home kitchen. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating out. I guess I just feel like I’ve accomplished something truly meaningful when I eat something that I cooked myself from scratch or near-scratch.

Perhaps this is looking on the bright side of the recession, but I feel glad in a way that I do more of my own cooking these days. And maybe by cutting out so much driving and by using "local" (or as close as we can get to it in Vegas) and organic ingredients in my own home cooking, I'm doing my part to reduce my carbon footprint and help save the planet. Ironically, living green also saves serious "green".

Yes, I guess I have channeled my inner "no really, she's for real housewife!" and I don't feel bad about it at all. ;-)

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