My “Manifesto”

What is this, and am I, about?

Well, a little about me. I am 25, living in Manhattan on a ridiculous budget. I work non-profit and thus make a small income. It’s not like i regret it though…I truely love my job and I have to make sacrifices to maintain the lifestyle I want to live while making not alot of money. Therefore, I cook my own food. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who cooks for themself as much as I do in Manhattan. New York is the city of take out, order in, 3 AM gourmet meals and delivery of every shape, type and flavor of food. Once I told a friend that I eat out maybe once every other week and he laughed, looked at me in shock, and they blatently asked “why?” “It’s so convenient to just open a menu and order anything you would ever want to eat!” But to me, a life overflowing with convenience is too much. Yeah, I live in a city where I can get anything at any hour of the day or night, but that doesn’t mean I have to take advantage of it. I think in order to be successful in life, you have to rely on yourself for alot, and that includes cooking. Sounds a little far-fetched, but I really view cooking for myself as part of that.

Another reason why I cook, as I mentioned before, is money.  I’m on a very tight budget considering I don’t make alot at my job and I pay an unbelievable amount of money on rent.  I don’t have alot left over after rent and bills are paid, so why would I want to spend it over and over again on ordering in food that isn’t really that good, is too expensive and not healthy?  The pile of take-out menus in my apartment is huge (which is probably true in any New York apartment) and used often by my roommates.  But, when they get food delivered, what I’m eating that I made myself not only often much yummier, but a hell of a lot cheaper to make.   I’ll often make a big pot of hearty soup or chili on Sunday night which costs about 5 bucks to make, and eat it for 3 nights…that’s less than 2 bucks a meal!! Beat that crappy restaurants down the street!

 A third reason is that, truthfully, I’m trying to lose a bit of weight.  I gained weight in college and trying to get it back off.  I’m already an avid exerciser and on the petite side (only 5’2″), so losing weight is really difficult for me.  By cooking for myself, and cooking healthy food, I’m able to control what I eat.  No hidden oils, butter, duck fat (ewww…just read an article in the NYTimes that many restaurants sear fish in duck fat…who knew!?!?) here.  I know every ingredient that is in my food and can therefore healthfully fuel my body just enough to maintain my active lifestyle and lose weight.  I’ll keep you updated as this progresses…

 The final, and probably most important reason I cook is because I enjoy it!  I’ve always loved cooking, and when I was young, dabbled in the thought of going to culinary school.  My mom is a truly wonderful cook (except for the tuna cheese puff that was a staple of my youth) and a big fan of using fresh, simple ingredients.  I developed that love of cooking from her and hanging out in our kitchen and am always excited to go home to help her and eat her delicious food.  I love trying new recipes and developing my own, finding new ingredients at the grocery store and the farmers’ market and seeing how I can integrate them into my diet.  No matter how late I get home in the evening, I never mind cooking something for my dinner rather than ordering it.  I could be sleeping over the stove, but I enjoy it and know it will taste good, at least most of the time. 

 So, that’s me and why I cook in a nutshell.  I hope to use this blog to share my recipes, thoughts and lifestyle.  Enjoy and feel free to leave me lots of comments!


4 Responses to “My “Manifesto””

  1. 1 courtney February 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    wow, that looks AMAZING!! i’m going to have to try that recipe!! cool blog!

  2. 2 Betsy February 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    it is very amazing!

    Thanks! The blog is still VERY MUCH a work in progress. I’ve been sitting on it for about a month now, waiting to take a cool pic for the banner at the farmers market, but just wanted to get it up and running and work in it slowly. I hope you keep visiting!

  3. 3 maggiescamera May 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I use to love the tune cheese puffs….

  4. 4 Iris June 15, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    You just enumerated all of the reasons I cook for myself. I couldn’t have said it better. My coworkers sometimes look at me like I’m crazy because I always bring all my own food to work, but it’s cheaper (I live in NYC too) than ordering food, healthier, and a lot more fun for me since I love to cook. I look forward to reading the rest of your blog!

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