This man is one of my many idols.
This man is working his way through convincing people that they can afford to eat well. For years and years, we have been sold the idea that people can’t afford to eat good, organic food. Or, even if you can afford it, that you don’t have the time to cook. So many commercials depict soccer moms popping a KFC bucket on the table to the delighted smiles of her (paradoxically skinny and healthy looking) children that the image seems to have permeated our ideas of what modern cooking really is.
And this man is working to change all that.
As am I, in my own cosmically small little way.
See, I am a college student. I make $12.50 an hour at my on campus job (and I’m lucky for that amount, too!) and I take a full course load. I’m involved in extra-curriculars and I try my best to make it to my professor’s office hours. Right now, one of the things on my mind is calling Wells Fargo and finding a way for them to not charge me $15 a month for not having enough money in my account because frankly, I never had $7,500 in there to begin with.
(from flickr, taken by knautia)
And I cook. I love to cook. I can hardly eat out anymore because I am consistently disappointed when the modest things I cook at home are better.
Since I last posted, I have been on a quest to share my forays into cooking with my peers. Last year I lived in a place where basic sanitary conditions weren’t really achieved (I mean, it’s college) so my culinary activities were sadly restrained. This year, however, I have a kitchen and it is all my own. Dishes are only in the sink temporarily, and strange things aren’t fermenting in there.
(this is not my kitchen. wishful thinking, perhaps.)
It’s a small wonder, really.
Since I acquired this haven I have been inviting friends over. My boyfriend and I whip up simple, delicious meals for them and they are surprised. I tell them how to make them and they are, again, surprised. I offer to teach them how to cook. I tell them where to buy products. I tell them that yes, those tomatoes were only one dollar per pound because when you know the guy at the farmer’s market, he cuts you a deal! And boy, do they ever taste better than those strange spongy things at Ralph’s that masquerade as tomatoes. If you cut down your meat, you can buy three times the food if you stick more to vegetables. Do you have any idea how cheap lentils and rice are?!
And what do they say?
I can’t cook this. I don’t have time.
But trust me, you do!
There’s no way. It’s too expensive.
But I just told you that I spend less than $100 per week on groceries, and that’s for both my boyfriend and myself!
Whether it’s the ingredients or the prospect of just beginning to cook that intimidates them, I refuse to be complicit and enable this trend of poor eating! Just because you’re a poor college student doesn’t mean you should settle for eating garbage! I have been doing my best to further Jamie’s Food Revolution, with moderate success. The stubbornest of my friends simply don’t know where to start, and are defeatist about their prospects. I think of this as more inspiring because it shows just how far down the wrong path we have been going all these years.
So now, I will also post recipes. Simple, delicious, time-saving recipes that I use every day when I get home from 5 hour shifts at work and multiple classes, in the hopes that you, too, will discover the wonders of the kitchen.