These days, many of us don’t cook much. Convenience is key. In homes with two working parents, kids in various activities, etc etc, there just isn’t the time and stores and restaurants make things so incredibly easy to avoid “cooking” in the true sense of the word. But does that mean we’ve forgotten where our food comes from?
Josh and I just finished watching the Netflix series, “Cooked”. It was fantastic and I highly recommend it. It makes you realize just how far civilization has come but that some cultures are still very focused on the old ways of cooking. And this way is so much healthier. But if you notice (should you watch the show) that often times in these cultures, the pace of life also is reflective of the time they are able to take to make these meals – from making homemade bread daily to what it takes to literally capture your protein of the day.
And while I’m not planning on going to such extremes any time soon, I have found that living in Europe has brought out my inner cook ;). Ok, I’m no cook, but I definitely make things from scratch a lot more than I did at home in the US. Maybe it’s having more time or the lack of convenience in many places. In Spain, few places offered take out and even if it was available, most restaurants didn’t open until after 8 which wasn’t an option for us when we had small children who were usually in bed by then! And so I learned to cook (better). I still have a LONG way to go. A long way!
We have more options available to us in the Netherlands than we did in Spain, but over the years, I’ve gotten into the (good) habit of cooking rather than buying pre-made meals or getting take out and so we rarely go that route.
But it’s made me think more often of where our food comes from and how many unnecessary ingredients much of it has. While watching “Cooked” the host mentioned that bread only needs 3-4 ingredients. Go take a look at the loaf of bread in your pantry and tell me how many it has… 10? 15? It really makes you think of what you are putting in your body. And no, I’m not going to start making my own bread daily. Ok, I thought about it for about a minute and then decided that I just don’t have the time to do that every day! Though it would be delicious 😉
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going Paleo here or anything like that – nor am I super hyper vigilant about what I buy all the time (admittedly bought a huge bar of Cadbury Caramello yesterday so can’t be that serious!) but I do try to be conscious about what we buy and where it originates. Living abroad has definitely made me think more of where our food comes from. And while here in the Algarve, we came across this guy who was preparing his food for later that day (or perhaps to sell at a market) – the inspiration for this post.
We were walking along the beach in Praia da Luz when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed an older gentleman by some rocks and it looked like he was hitting something against the rocks. Curious, I looked closer and noticed it was… an octopus! Now having lived in the Mediterranean for 5 years, we are no strangers to octopus (the kids do love pulpo!) but it’s certainly not every day that you see one freshly caught!
When I saw the one on the right starting to escape, I decided to take a little .
So hopefully this is a little “food for thought” (pardon the pun!) the next time you go out for dinner or take that pre-made meal out of the fridge – often times it’s much better to see where your food comes from and my guess is this guy’s family enjoyed a big meal of fresh octopus that night!
Knuffels en kussen,