Monday, May 19, 2008

I cook everything from scratch

This is my second year in the U.S, and Alhamdulilah I am adjusting well.
We found a good mosque with a small community that we enjoy. We have a support network both from my husbands wonderful family( now my family too) and from the ever growing group of friends I am meeting.
I am adapting to being a minority and enjoy the new insights this sort of life brings. I am on my way to having my second baby inshaAllah and I started this tiny little online space with your encouragement and support.

Recently I have been reading lots of blogs of similar mindset. People who are interested in living simply with sustainable choices and raising their children in this kind of awareness, while trying to avoid being bombarded by mass consumerism and negative media messages.
Most of these people tend to read the same books, try to plant their own food, raise their own poultry and just do things from scratch.

Whenever I read any of those wonderful blogs, the blogger seems to emphasize on how cooking everything from scratch is a good thing.
I was somewhat confused on why they're stressing on making things from scratch, and almost having a political stand when it comes to food, and making stuff on your own.
But then it hit me, I was raised in Egypt, and to Egyptians cooking everything from scratch is the default setting of most families. We don't have all this canned food, and microwavable stuff, we recently got introduced to these things in our market, and most Egyptian still don't know what to think of it.
I remember I was pretty excited when Mac Donald's opened in Egypt, I was in my final year of my IGCSE's . So to most American's thats pretty recent.

My husband was pretty impressed when he was sick one time and asked for chicken noodle soup( his comfort food when sick) And I started boiling a chicken to make the broth for the soup, he was like wait a minute I thought all chicken noodle soups came from a can.
We were in Egypt then so I didn't understand what he meant by that, until I came here.

You can literally cook a whole meal in 5 minutes, everything from a can, how wonderful I thought, how easy. I still didn't do it coz it was too weird and too alien for me, it's just simply not how I was raised. Eventually I realized how blessed I was to have been raised in a third world country with minimal access to packaged foods. I just do it coz thats how its done, there is no stand or political statement , its just how things are done.

So to all you Americans out there who were raised with packaged food and are trying to switch back to the norm...I salute you:)

This post is to simply appreciate what we have, and the choices that we make in life that affect us and our brothers and sisters on this planet.



Christopher and Jennifer said...

Hi, I enjoyed reading your blog. I was raised on pot pies and frozen buritos. When I served a mission for my church in Ecuador I came to learn first hand that frozen buritos aren't nearly as tasty as homemade. We Americans are spoiled. We call ourselves a whold power and feel proud of our acomplishments. I am proud of some things we have done but I am not proud of some of our attitudes. So many people are impatient they want what they want when they want it. I loved Ecuador for it's simple life they didn't have much but they were grateful and gracious with what they did have. Since the dawn of processed prepackaged food we have lost touch with the true joy of cooking. I myself have no idea how to make a good homemade chicken noodle soup. But I no longer like the canned soup taste, so my quest to cook from scratch begins. You really are lucky to have been raised learning how to cook from scratch. I think in hard economic times its important to learn how to be self suffiecient. If we can rely less on the stores and make more from the simple and usually cheaper ingredients like beans, grains, rice instead of prepackaged frozen foods then I think we will more easily adapt to whatever life style we find ourselves... wheather we loose our jobs or get a raise. Plus for me, I like knowing what is in my food. I like knowing what I put it there and that I can take it out!

Anonymous said...

Cooking in itself is very meditative for me, a kind of a zen experience if you will. I am completely absorbed and focused in the moment, just chopping or peeling, or boiling something is what I am thinking of at the moment nothing else distracts me.
I am really fortunate to have been raised the way I was. And as I mentioned this post is to appreciate the switch back that people like yourself are making.
I had it on a silver platter. Its realizing and making the change that is impressive really.