Thursday, 21 June 2012

What Sort Of Cook Are You?

Did you know that apparently, according to a survey done by the English newspaper the Daily Mail, the average woman spends 6 hours and 52 minutes a day in her kitchen?  Not all of that would be cooking of course - some of it would be doing chores, too.  I know there may be some women who spend much less time than this - and perhaps some that spend more, too!  I think I'm probably close to that average if I add up the time that I spend doing other things as well - but I definitely don' t spend nearly 7 hours a day just cooking!  I wonder what sort of meals we would be eating if I did!  Very gourmet ones, for sure. 

When I am thinking about what to cook and serve to my family, and planning our menus, I try to consider the particular likes and wishes of each family member, and in addition, what they will also want to eat that will be nutritious, tasty and not too complicated.  Cost also comes into my considerations, and generally I try to create meals that take all these factors into account at once, so that we all enjoy what we eat knowing that it is doing us good - and not breaking the bank, either!  As I've said previously, we don't like to obsess too much over our food.  We believe that a sensible, balanced approach to our diets is best, and that this is what God wants for us.  No cranky elimination diets or food combining - nothing is banned, but we don't eat anything to excess either.  Generally we don't go for any particular style of eating.  Just simple, nourishing, wholesome food that tastes good and makes everyone feel satisfied.  Of course, I always add some of every wife and mother's "secret" ingredient in my cooking too - I'm sure you know what that ingredient is - it's love, of course! 

I really enjoy planning our meals, looking through my cookbooks and recipe clippings, and searching online for ideas and inspiration.  To me, preparing our meals is one of the very best parts of being a wife and mother and one that I know Little Bear is also looking forwards to embracing, when she marries one day.  I grew up learning to cook alongside my mother, who learned to cook this way too, watching her mam as she prepared the family meals.  I have lovely memories of making pastry and cakes with my mother, and helping her to knead bread, stir soups and jams on the stovetop, and prepare the bounties of the harvest from the land around where we lived.  This included preparing game stock like rabbits and pheasants too - I didn't enjoy that very much, but I learned it was all part of learning to be a good homemaker, and I've shared these skills with Little Bear, ready for the next generation of wives in our family to be taught in years to come. 

We all have different methods, styles, skills and abilities in the kitchen - pastry making is an art I am still trying to get to grips with, several decades on since I stood beside my mam in our tiny farmhand's kitchen all those years ago, watching her as she rolled and cut the pastry ready to make into a fruit or meat pie (she is an expert pastry maker).  But my cakes usually get a very good verdict from anyone who gets to eat a slice!  What sort of things are you good at cooking?  I love that Papa Bear's workmates think of me as the "Cake Queen" - but I also enjoy making savoury dishes too!

I tried doing this funny quiz this afternoon - just to see what sort of cook I really am - why not try answering the questions and then scroll down to the bottom to find out what sort of cook you are!  Here is the link for the website that the quiz comes from ... it is called Dinnertool.  As well as quizzes it has meal planners, recipes and shopping lists, and is a great resource for finding inspiration and guidance for your kitchen endeavours!

Answer a), b), c) or d) to each question and tot up how many of each you get.  I've put an X beside my own answers.

Question One: When Trying Out a New Recipe I Generally...
a) Feel confident – I love making new dishes!
b) Am a little wary of whether or not my family will like it. X
c) Am nervous, and I double check every step of the recipe.
d) Stick to what I know, thanks!

Question Two: I Mainly Like Cooking...
a) Everything! I’m always cooking new recipes.
b) Foods from different cultures (Indian, Italian, etc.).
c) Traditional foods that have been passed down through my family. X
d) Casseroles or soups.

Question Three: My Family Would Describe Me As...
a) Carefree and experimental.
b) Caring and conscientious. X
c) A worrier.
d) Erring on the side of safety.

Question Four: My Favorite Ingredient(s) to Cook with Include:
a) I don't have a favorite, but I love any unusual ingredient or recipes.
b) Bread, red meat or starchy ingredients. X
c) Chicken or beef.
d) Vegetables.

Question Five: When Cooking for a Group, you …
a) Plan a whole theme and cook food that reflects that theme.
b) Check which foods the guests would prefer by offering various options. X
c) Buy pre-packaged foods and create a few appetizers and desserts.
d) Call a catering company!

Question Six: How Frequently Do You Cook?
a) All the time. X
b) 3-4 times per week.
c) 1-2 times per week.
d) Only when I have to!

Answers: What Kind of Cook Are You?

Mostly A's: If you scored mostly a's then you are an Experimental Cook. You will try anything once. You love creating new and exciting recipes. Your family never knows what to expect at mealtimes. You are outgoing and no cooking task is too difficult for you. If it goes wrong then it goes wrong, at least you tried! Many of your recipes tend to be innovative and you can be really creative in the kitchen. You very rarely use recipes and you are comfortable cooking pretty much anything.

Mostly B's: If you answered mostly b’s then you are a Giving Cook. You like taking care of the family and you cook for other people. You like to cook a variety of different foods and are not afraid to try new things in the kitchen. You enjoy cooking and you do it as often as you can.

Mostly C's: If you answered mostly c’s then you are a Reluctant Cook. You may enjoy cooking but it causes worry. You are reluctant to try anything new, since you're afraid of messing it up, and think it's easier to just stick to tried-and-true recipe favorites. There are some things that you can do by yourself, but only recipes that you have prepared many times before. You do require a lot of help from recipes.

Mostly D's: If you answered mostly d’s then you are a Functional Cook. You don't do not like cooking and will avoid it as much as you possibly can, unless you absolutely have to do it. You may like the thought of cooking but ultimately it's too much time or effort spent on something you don't truly enjoy. While you try to make the best meals you possibly can for your family, you may find yourself turning to takeout more often than you'd like to admit.