Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trade-Offs (I)

Confession: I've hardly cooked this week. When I have, it hasn't been noteworthy or photogenic, with the exception of Katerina's Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler, which I forgot to photograph anyway. Even worse, I haven't used any of last week's CSA share... I'll put the picture with this week's for you to see, but it may go to waste, and I feel guilty.

Usually I really like the challenge of cooking and feel energized by it. But sometimes, especially when my kitchen is messy or I'm not feeling great, cooking a "real" meal is too daunting. You've all been there, right?

I think in my case it's also complicated by my sometimes-conflicting goals for food and cooking. I want to support local farmers, but that often takes more time and money. I want organic food where possible, but again - more expensive and harder to find. I want to make quick meals on weeknights, but cooking with produce and grains = lots of prep (usually), and I'm worried about the BPA in the canned food I use to save time. I want to be vegetarian and it's difficult when I eat outside my home. And I recently started reading more about low-carbon cooking, and the author of the book advises against oven- and stove-intensive cooking like roasting, but that's my favorite way to cook my local produce. So health, economy, environment, taste, time, and budget - trying to do well in all those areas really narrows cooking choices. That's why I end up eating leftover soup, or fried rice with frozen veggies....

This post is called trade-offs (I) because I want to revisit this set of challenges as I get better at navigating them. So please forgive the complaining. Next time I will try to have more solutions.


  1. Well... it's all about finding a balance... extremes are never good anyway :) And I have found it fairly easy to not eat meat while away from home... sure, it does take some effort in terms of picking the places to eat (and honestly, you end up going to healthier places anyway), but it hasn't been as hard as I thought :)

  2. Amen, sister. I feel like I'm constantly making trade-offs and compromises when it comes to cooking and eating. Keep posting on this, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts!