British People Can’t Cook


So according to several polls, although British people love food, they’re not actually very good at cooking.  With a lack of time, lack of knowledge and food costs being just some of the many factors that influence modern day food choices and a saddening decline in good ole home cooking time!  Back in the 1980’s, it was reported that cooking time was 1 hour per evening, this declined to 45 minutes in the 1990’s and has now reduced further, to a mere 34 minutes today.  The most popular meal time foods now include: pizza, sandwiches, Indian food, sausages, oriental meals, pies, stews, spaghetti bolognese and soups.

Not only are British people spending less time cooking in their evenings, it is also thought that only half of the population can cook more than 10 meals from scratch, with the other half repeating the same 10 dishes over and over.  The most popular dishes that people claim they can cook from scratch are: spaghetti bolognese, stir fry and a roast dinner.  How many dishes can you cook from scratch?

4 ways to be a better cook 

  1. Buy 1 or 2 cook books.  You will find cook books in most supermarkets, book shops, or quickly little shops and randomly select a dish that you wouldn’t usually cook.  If you already have some…use them.  If you can’t afford it, use the internet or social media. You could even decide a theme for the week, such as ‘vegetarian week’ or ‘Mediterranean week’ in order to try new foods and experience new flavours.
  2. Plan your meals in advance of buying the food.  It’s so easy to walk into the supermarket and grab foods that take your fancy based on packaging and price.  But they’re so random, you can’t even make a decent meal out of it!  Which means you’ll have to make do with what’s in your fridge again!  Instead, grab your cook books or go online and write down 7 delicious meals that you (all) will enjoy eating throughout the week.  Then, you will know what to buy because every recipe tells you what exact ingredients you will need.
  3. Shop online.  Unfortunately we don’t all live by the coast where there’s a fresh market every single morning, nor would we all have the time to go to the market every day before work.  But in order to save some money and time, do your food shopping online.  Not only will you be less distracted by other foods that you didn’t intend to buy, you will save time driving back and forth to the supermarket and bumping trollies into other people.
  4. Cook in bulk.  So it’s already noted that nobody has time in the week to cook a decent meal and the only time we can spare is around half an hour.  So why not cook in bulk?   This may take a 2-3 hours of your weekend, or maybe a few 1 hour sessions spread throughout the week, but once it’s all cooked, you can store the meal that you’ve made from scratch in those handy little foil containers which you can get for £1-£1.50 for 10 in the supermarket.  Pack the cooked food in them, keep them stored in your freezer until you want to eat it and simply re-heat it in your oven while you catch up with your book, exercise, tv show, or family and friends!

Useful information

The following links are recipes for meals that take less than half an hour..

Jamie’s 15 minute meals online 

Nigella’s express meals 

BBC Good Food 


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© 2017 Naomi Laws. All rights reserved.

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