The barriers to consistent cooking are enough to make anyone call for takeout once in a while. But that’s not an option for the editor from Epicurious.com, who has committed to cooking 90 meals in January. How’s a boy to keep cooking? Saviors.
“When I tell people that I’ve decided to cook 90 meals in one month, I get one of three reactions. There’s complete indifference (I quickly change the subject). There’s shock and confusion (“Every meal? Every day??“). And then there’s my favorite reaction, a sort of smug smile and an utterance along the lines of “Oh, you mean what most people do every month of the year?”
That’s real talk, and a good point to keep in mind whenever I start to feel proud of myself for doing what thousands of people do on the daily. But now that I’m on my 13th day of three-meal-a-day cooking, I’m more curious than ever if people really are cooking at home, or rather eating at home.
I’m tempted to say that many people are doing the latter, relying on frozen meals, soup packets, delivery, and take out. And I understand the impulse to rely on these foods more than ever. The first few days of #cook90 may have been a breeze—and I think I even thought I might continue the experiment for another month or two—but now I’m starting to understand the barriers to cooking every day. Lack of time. Lack of energy. Excess of boredom with the meals I’m cooking. And the panicky confusion of figuring out what exactly I’m going to make for dinner that night.
Slowly, I’m working out a strategy. And one strategy that’s worked so far is to have a few saviors. These saviors are the foods I turn to over and over to add substance and/or style to a meal. Here are the five I’ve been leaning on the most.
I’m actually on a break with eggs right now, because I’ve leaned on them a little too much. But for the first ten days of #cook90 I ate them for breakfast (soft-boiled with mayonnaise on rye crackers), for brunch (soft-scrambled with smoked sturgeon), and slipped into dinner (a poached egg in lentil soup) and lunch (a soft-boiled to beef up soba noodles).”