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S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. An integral part of the homeschooling community, she has developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to homeschoolers and her fascination with the written word.



The Dying Art of Home Cuisine

5/23/2019 7:35:00 AM BY Susan Lyttek

Hardly a day goes by without me getting an offer in one of my e-mail boxes for some kind of meal program. Either they send you the ingredients with step by step instructions or they have you come to their center to make or buy partially assembled meals. And those are the offers that you actually have to do some cooking. There are countless more I see for ready-made meals or for restaurant patronage.

If you haven’t gathered by now, this post is somewhat of a rant. I do apologize for that.

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store. Now, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t buy anything ready-made. I have to keep things on hand that people (especially Karl) can cook for themselves if I’m not around. But then I came home and cooked dinner. I made meatloaf, using ground beef, ketchup, an egg, seasonings and oatmeal. I washed potatoes and put them in the oven. I washed and sliced mushrooms which I sautéed in butter. And I made a tasty lentil soup from a recipe that I found online. In other words, I cooked primarily from scratch.

And that’s the dying art.

I know that life is busy. I get that. And there are times that I’d rather order Chinese than cook, but they aren’t too many. For one, it often takes less time to assemble something than it does to figure out the order and go pick it up. And for two, I usually prefer my own cooking to anyone else’s food or any restaurant meals. And for three, I don’t like to spend more than I need to on food. That last one explains why I packed a lunch for Gary today (made from a meal we had last week that was frozen in a single serving) and for myself (a cup of that yummy soup from last night—also frozen).

But if you try to follow any diet plan (other than the ones that prepare the meals for you) they will tell you that homecooked foods are the best to monitor your health and nutrition. That’s partly because at home we don’t add any shelf stabilizers or preserving chemicals so that it can be made this week and sold months later. Look at the ingredients on a pack or cookies or a mix to make said cookies and then compare to a recipe where you would make them, for instance. And no one would claim home-baked cookies are health food, but they have less bad stuff for you than the store-bought ones. If you tweak the recipe like I do, replacing the sugar with a combination of honey, stevia and xylitol, and replacing the white flour with a mix of organic white and whole wheat flours, they get less evil.

Learning to cook is like learning anything else. It initially takes time, but once you get the hang of it, it’s faster. We also have all sorts of gadgets available to cook when we don’t have time. I love a slow cooker on a hectic day, for instance. I wish more people would invest in training themselves to cook at home—not just so that they save themselves money, but so that they improve their health.

Okay, rant over. Have a blessed week everyone!