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Why do you cook at home? Here's why we choose farm fresh food.

written by

Michelle Sroka

posted on

March 27, 2024

Is there a dish you’ve always dreamed of making? 

In the last few years, I’ve really wanted to learn to make corned beef. I knew that I could do it - if I started with enough time before St. Patrick’s Day, that is. But I’ve always seemed to remember too late - just a few days before the holiday.  

This year, I took matters into my own hands. I signed up for a church potluck on St. Patrick’s Day - forcing myself to not only learn how to make corned beef (and plan ahead!), but to make it taste good as well.  

It turns out, it was pretty easy - and delicious. But more important was the feeling of accomplishment that I had. I overcame a moment of feeling like “I can’t do that”. Not only could I make it, but I could also make a healthy, non-processed version without synthetic additives or preservatives.  

I’ve had several of those moments throughout the years. When we first started farming, I tried roasting a whole chicken. It was…not quite successful at first, but I eventually got there, with the help of a good meat thermometer. (Joe likes to joke “Is it still clucking?” in memory of those first few attempts.)  

After I mastered that, it was onto pork chops. And once I knew how to cook them, I could put a truly delicious, nutritious, and quick meal on the table reliably for our family. Pork chops are still one of our go-to meals.  

No matter what you make, I’m sure there’s been a time where you’ve had to overcome an “I can’t do that” mentality, and learned to make something new.  

I think it’s worth reflecting on, because many people would question why we should overcome that mentality at all. Why not get a ready-made rotisserie chicken? Why not buy the beef already corned? Why invest in the time, mistakes, and frustrations that learning new skills will bring?  

Of course, there will be times that most of us - including me! - do choose those options of convenience. But most of the time, I choose the sacrifice involved with sourcing food locally, and making it at home. And it is a sacrifice, because it means committing my time and money to that instead of something else.  

I wonder what skills you’ve achieved in the kitchen. But I also wonder how learning those skills has created further transformation, or how they’ve changed your relationships. How does knowing how to make more deepen your relationship with your farmer, the land around you, and your community?  

I know that for me, learning to cook meant valuing food. And once I valued food, it opened the door to ask questions about how that food was grown, who was growing it, and ultimately how those practices affected the health of my family.  

So I choose to learn more, and to sacrifice in order to spend time in the kitchen.   

That’s my story, but it won’t necessarily be yours. So I’m curious: What do you know how to make now that you didn't know then? And why does it matter to you?

Getting Started

Want to master some simple recipes that will make you feel accomplished? Here are three to get you started. 

Whole Roast Chicken Au Jus - a simple, no fuss recipe to help you master the art of cooking a whole chicken, AND making a delicious and simple sauce.

Pork Chops with Carrot Top Chimichurri - learn how to make pork chops perfectly, and top them with this seasonal spring sauce.

Corned Beef - make this classic beef recipe without any synthetic nitrates. You'll need a week to prep and brine the beef, so plan accordingly. 



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