Nothing better than a home-cooked meal…/ Neni nad domaci kuchyni…Nothing better than a home-cooked meal... | Czechmatediary
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Nothing better than a home-cooked meal…/ Neni nad domaci kuchyni…

images-6I was standing in the check-out line at Target and behind me was a mom of three (how do I know that? Because they were all climbing all over her!) putting her shopping on the counter belt: Campbell canned soups, Lunchabels, TV dinners for kids, chips,…..I don’t think there was one unprocessed thing there. And I felt bad for the kids knowing what crap they are going to grow up on.

We did have pollution from cars and factories, even dealt with Chernobyl but we also had home-cooked meals every day. Our moms did not know any better and none of these pre-made meals were available. Although working full-time, my mom would make us a 2-course meal –  including soup and main dish – every single night. True, the soup was made sometimes from the store-bought package but I am pretty sure the ingredient list wasn’t a page and half long.

Even though I watched my mom cooking my whole childhood, I myself learned how to cook in the US. And I enjoyed the ride and my husband even more! But even if I didn’t have the ‘cooking genes’ and hated every bit of it I knew deep inside that I have to cook when it comes to my family. I would never even think of giving any of these above-mentioned ‘plastic’ meals on our table!

Czechs generalize Americans and say that they never cook and always eat out. Although I know what they are talking about and I see it around me, I have to say that my close American friends are exactly the opposite. They cook meals every night and what is more, the ingredients are organic, some of the meatless….they are doing everything right. But they do go out every once in a while as does our family. And although many Czechs proudly say that they NEVER go out to eat, I think it is OK to eat out every once in a while.

Again, we are talking about balance here. When one NEVER eats out, then not only you never get a break from cooking but you single yourself out and are a black sheep in the society. Plus, it is important to say that there are MANY healthy restaurants you can eat at, right?

This is what we do. I usually cook 6 times a week and then we go eat at a restaurant and we call it a family night. Everyone loves it. Mommy doesn’t have to cook, we usually connect it with a trip to the park so the kids love it. Daddy loves it because everyone else loves it. And we don’t inhale burgers and fries and suck down milk shakes and ice-creams either :).

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11 comments… add one
  • Michaela Loren February 10, 2013, 4:10 pm

    Same here 😉 Great article! 🙂

  • Vonya February 10, 2013, 6:41 pm

    I agree with you. Cooking healthy home cooked meals set a generational example, because it sets up such a good precedent for kids’ lifelong eating habits. My mom did the same, even as a working mom, and we ate out rarely. Raising my own kids, I cook homemade meals as well. I really enjoy going out to eat on a moderate basis. It’s such a treat not to cook AND clean. I think it’s the cleaning part I dislike the most! As for burgers and fries, we all love to indulge with In n Out, once a month. It’s about balance, like you said;)

  • Vlastimil February 11, 2013, 7:28 am

    home-cooked meal can be as good as the produces you are using to make the meal of.
    If you you home-cook a chicken that has been abused all its life in a meat producing factory, than you are better of to go to street vendors…
    The same regarding beef… unless you buy steaks delivered from Argentina 🙂

  • Sarka February 11, 2013, 7:43 am

    Yeah but if u buy the ‘regular’ food you make things even worse. Sure u could be negative and say that even vegetables from your garden are bad because of acid rain but we don’t live in the bubble:(

  • Eva Z. February 11, 2013, 2:02 pm

    If you cook at home, at least you somewhat know what goes into your meal. All spices you put in, how much salt (this may be difficult with some meats preinjected with saline), what kind of fats you are using to cook with, whether it is organic, grass fed, cage free (or whatever) and also you wouldn’t use preservatives. So I’d think that any homecooked meal from scratch is going to be more healthy than the canned/dried/preserved/prechewed meal. A lot of meals take only 15 – 30 mins to prepare, or some longer but they cook in the oven/stove, while you can do other things. To me, time is a poor excuse for buying and eating junk. But honestly, as Vonya said, if someone grew up like that, it is quite normal for them to continue this.

  • Tanja February 11, 2013, 9:21 pm

    I don’t know how about you guys but I LOVE to make stews. They simmer all day and they are ready to be eaten whenever you are ready. They are healthy and delish.

  • Greg February 13, 2013, 1:22 pm

    I agree, cooking your own meal is the best way to go. I worked as a health inspector for many years and you learn that restaurants are a business and do the most MINIMAL requirements to stay in business. Even if the food is healthy, the sanitary conditions can be pretty bad. My wife and i grow a lot of vegetables, herbs and fruit in our garden and we are healthier for it There is no perfect food for anything can get contaminated, even in natural soil. Always wash your food first, cook everything to proper temperatures and for the most part you will be fine. Plus, cooking your own food gives you so much creativity to re-invent a dish. I’ve done it with some Czech dishes as well as American ones too. Still, as Tanja says, go out from time to time. If you do something too much, it can no longer be fun and your creative juices (no pun intended) can run out.

  • Eva Z. February 13, 2013, 3:29 pm

    When I was a kid, we never went out to eat. I think partially because money was tight and also because there was not such a big selection of restaurants and various cuisines in those times (25 years ago or so) even though we lived in a large city. But now, especially in the US, we have access to many international cuisines and restaurants with hundreds of choices…it would be too bad not to experience any of it. Btw, this does not apply to McDonald’s and alike. 🙂

  • Monika February 13, 2013, 7:24 pm

    Your articles are so great and so true! I love checking this page and seeing that a new article has been posted up! I agree about this article, nothing beats home cooked Czech meals 🙂

  • Tanja February 14, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Yes, like Eva I don’t remember going out to eat when I was little. The ONLY time we went to the restaurant was when someone graduated or was getting married. That’s about it 🙂

  • Vlastimil February 17, 2013, 7:34 am

    when I was a kid, we went out each time when some relative died…I enjoyed going out, …unfortunately most of my relatives were young and they started dying, when I was already living abroad ..:(

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