At the end of every meal my Grandpa Luttrell could be counted to say, “You can’t get a meal like that in a restaurant!”
It certainly was true then. Those were some mighty satisfying home cooked meals. And when I think about it, I’m sure that his limited experience with restaurants was probably poor. He grew up and lived most of his life in rural Southern Illinois, as I did as a boy. He did travel, but I’m sure that the places where they stopped to eat didn’t suit him as well as my grandma’s kitchen did.
Frankly, I’d take a meal prepared by my Grandma Luttrell over pretty much any restaurant, too. Although both my grandparents are long gone, I remember those meals fondly.
I left the farm long ago and have led a much more cosmopolitan life since. I’ve been to some pretty amazing restaurants around the world and I continue to enjoy eating out, but there’s a special pleasure that comes from preparing and eating meals at home. Home cooked meals can be simpler, healthier, and much more satisfying. And they are far less expensive.
Eating in has another benefit: when you eat most of your meals at home it becomes a treat to eat out. You can plan ahead, look for somewhere special, make it an event to share with friends. When eating out is common it can quickly become boring, another chore.
Cooking is far easier than most non-cooks realize. It’s worth learning some very basic techniques, things that virtually anyone can master in just a few minutes if they choose to try. Eating out of a paper bag from things picked up on the run is ultimately an admission of defeat. Eating in can be a triumph, another success.
The next time you feel beaten down, defeated by work and responsibilities, plan and prepare a simple meal for yourself and your family. The memory and the tastes may last a lifetime.
The Eating In by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.