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Retirement is a Great Time to Learn to Cook
I like to cook at home and my mother taught me how to do the simple things like baking, frying and boiling. But, I’ve often thought about a class or two to learn some more sophisticated ways of cooking. I’d like to learn some methods that allow me to create more healthy options – and even some dishes that are interesting and fun.
If you are a foodie, you know the names of a few cooks from the Food Network. You can check on YouTube for videos that are lessons in how to prepare some really interesting recipes. Check out Gordon Ramsay’s offerings or Wolfgang Puck’s classes.
Luckily, those who live in Westminster Village don’t have to prepare their meals and cooking can truly be a fun hobby. Not everyone is so lucky.
Of course, if you want a more interactive approach, cooking classes are available in every community. Choose one and try it. If you live in a retirement community and do not have cooking facilities in your residence, that’s OK because the classes will provide what you need.
There are so many different techniques that you might consider learning. Many of us prepared basic meals to feed our families and never really pursued the finer points. Think about learning different types of cooking, like:
While you might know the basic of some of them, there are techniques to refine so that you get the best cooked asparagus or “fall off the bone” BBQ ribs.
Another aspect of cooking is to learn how to cook like the French, or Italians, or Greeks! Maybe you love Thai food or other middle eastern dishes. I know there are many that I have no idea how to even begin to prepare.
Healthy cooking can be fun for seniors, too
I don’t want to say it too loud, but cooking healthy can be fun – and adventurous, too. If your diet is restricted or you simply watch it, you still have lots of cooking options. In her article, The Healthiest Cooking Methods Explained, author Kathryn Siegel lists eight methods of cooking that she contends are the healthiest.
- Microwaving – may be the healthiest because of the short cooking times, cooks from the inside out, and ensures that you maintain important nutrients
- Boiling – quick, easy, needs only water and salt; can dissolve some vitamins and minerals, but still best for maintaining nutrients in carrots, zucchini and broccoli
- Steaming – allows food to cook in its own juices and retain natural goodness
- Poaching – cooks the food in small amount of hot water and good for delicate food like fish
- Broiling – great way to cook tender cuts of meat
- Grilling – gets maximum nutrition without sacrificing flavor
- Stir-frying – effective for small bites of meat, grains and vegetables
- No-cooking – eating raw vegetables and fruits is always good
One of the challenges of cooking is always creating something that is tasty as well as good for us. Sometimes that means we have to get used to less salt, fat, and sugar. Once we do that, we can really taste the food we prepare. And, when we combine that healthy food with other elements of wellness like exercise, reducing stress, and social activity, well, good things happen!
Goals for learning new cooking skills don’t have to intimidate retired adults
Don’t think of cooking classes as learning a new, unknown skill. Go into it with a spirit of fun. Nothing, especially in retirement, has to come out of the over perfect. Just choose one thing and go about it step-by-step and don’t stress so much about the outcome.
Ask some others to go with you and lend each other a hand when needed. By the end, you might find new delicacies and new friends. Bon Appetit!
-Elaine of the Westminster Village Blog Team