What exactly is homestyle cooking and how does it differ from comfort food? This manifesto expresses the essence of homestyle cooking and what it means in our everyday life.
What is Homestyle Cooking?
To get to the very core of what homestyle cooking is, let’s do some reflection.
What are the recipes from your childhood that you look back on with a sense of nostalgia? What are the foods that provide you with comforting thoughts of home?
Which recipes fill your home with fragrant smells that warm you from the inside out? What recipes do you turn to when you are worn out, but want to put a wholesome meal on the table?
What recipes have been passed down from one generation to the next in your family? What do your children request for their special birthday meal?
The meals and recipes that came to mind as you pondered those questions are what homestyle cooking is. It is the kind of cooking that one associates with the familiarity and comfort of home.
Homestyle Cooking vs. Comfort Food
Some would use the broader term of “comfort food” to define homestyle cooking. But I believe that homestyle cooking has a deeper meaning to it.
To me, comfort food has the stigma of being starch filled fried foods and sweets that one turns to in a time of emotional turmoil. While on the other hand, homestyle cooking beckons us back to the comfort and familiarity of home.
And therein lies the greatest difference between comfort food and homestyle food. With comfort food, it is the food itself that is fulfilling a longing. Homestyle cooking is about more than just the food. It is about the place, the people, and the memories that we hold near and dear to us.
It is the comfort of family and friends, the joy of a shared meal around a table, the familiarity of home, the simple and unpretentious nature of the food. The familiar smell of a favorite family dish, and the savoring of familiar flavors.
Wholesome Homestyle Cooking
Something that is very important to me is to create wholesome meals for my family. I prefer to use clean ingredients and make our meals from scratch. This fits in very nicely with homestyle cooking.
By cooking from scratch, I am filling my home with delicious aromas. I am bringing my kids in alongside me to learn the tricks of the trade. I am slowing down and showing my family what is important to me- making good food for them.
What I love about homestyle cooking is that it is simple cooking. These are unpretentious yet delicious meals. Think of the old fashioned farm wife who had a very full day of chores to complete, yet took the time to make nourishing meals for her family. These old fashioned country style dinners are the very essence of homestyle cooking.
Homestyle Cooking Manifesto
I wrote a manifesto about homestyle cooking. It puts words to what I feel so strongly in my heart about sharing wholesome foods with loved ones. I hope that it inspires you to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of homestyle cooking.
Pull out the old family recipe book. Sift through the memories. Laugh and cry as you remember the loved ones who shared the recipes with you. Get in the kitchen and make those recipes. Feel the flour in your hands as you roll out the dough. Smell the savory thyme as you add it to the soup. Bake your grandma’s cookies. Go ahead and double the recipe so you can share them with friends and neighbors. Let’s get back around the family dinner table. Slow down. Light the candles. Turn off the distractions. Say grace. Look your family in the eye. Talk, laugh, and share together. Pass the dishes around the table. Thank the hands who lovingly prepared the food. Share your special memories with each other. Talk about your hopes and dreams for the future. Invest in the next generation that is sitting next to you. Count your blessings. Savor this moment, it is not just about the food. It is about the place, the people, and the memories that we hold near and dear to our hearts. They are what bring us comfort, they are what bring the food to life.