Growing your own food helps when you buy food. Your knowledge about when foods ripens; what ripens on the tree; what ripens after picking helps buy appropriately. Knowledge about the seasons; what is fresh and seasonal; what grows locally and what cannot, helps in knowing what to buy.
Growing food improves ones cooking of food. It forces people to cook in a generic manner. To use what is available. To learn basic recipes that can be adapted to suit what is available. I can explain. Generic cooking involves learning how to make a crumble topping. The topping can be used over any fruit which is available; plums, apples; pears; berries. This is the opposite of the cooking that celebrity chefs promote. They give a recipe and a detailed list of all the ingredients. There is pressure to rush to the shop; buy the ingredients as prescribed and follow the recipe. It will not look like it did on TV. It is depressing, time consuming and gives all the power to the chefs.
You are pressured to buy the books with the photographs. Every body owns multiple cookbooks (they make great presents). In contrast to the past, when women owned very few cookbooks. In the past cooking books were about techniques, basic principles, generic cooking and contained very few photos. Not inseparable from the personality of the chef and full of recipes which are so detailed and so specific you cannot ever get it right.
Meanwhile all the chefs and all the books are competing against each other. They have to come up with new ingredients; new flavours; new countries; something different. This normally means exotic ingredients. Ingredients that involve more transport, more storage, are hard to find and have no cultural significance (They are not what you had as a child). You can see why young people give up, buy a prepared meal to reheat, or a ready-made sauce, or dial up for a pizza. If the trend continues young people will spend all day watching cooking programs, buying cooking books, feeling powerless and never ever cooking anything.
Our food culture has not arisen from a peasant subsistence culture. There is no knowledge of indigenous foods and local climates. No knowledge of wild plants and animals and how they can be harvested or used. No intrinsic knowledge of what grows well in our particular area. No ceremonies associated with harvest or certain foods coming into season. We don't have this knowledge, recipes, language and the cultural events that go with indigenous food. Everything has been introduced. There is virtually nothing that we eat that was growing here (locally) more than 200 years ago.
If the pantry or kitchen is full of prepared foods such as biscuits, people are more likely to eat individually: to continually drift in and snack. The alternative is to have set meal times and to sit down and eat as a family. The latter is preferable for social, emotional and health reasons. To treat food as a scare resource, something special that must be looked after leads to family meals, good eating habits and healthier people. This is more likely to happen if the cook puts in an effort, takes her time in the kitchen, cooks with love, treats the ingredients as something precious and doesn't thrown a prepared meal on the table.
This blog is about what goes in. Not about what comes out. A lot of the posts are about food. There are posts about the food before it goes in. About preparing it, growing it or cooking it. There will be recipes.