Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook . . . Should Cook?


As you might be able to tell by the title of this article, I’m not much of a cook.

So when I read some survey results this week that claimed the average adult spends just an hour in the kitchen cooking/preparing food, I wasn’t too phased.

“Sounds reasonable,” I thought. “Who’d want to spend any longer in there anyway?”

But when the survey then pointed out that this was almost half the time that the previous generation dedicated to the task, it piqued my interest.

Why don’t we cook anymore?

I remember my mother spending a lot of time in the kitchen when I was young.

It wasn’t just a case of her taking a look in the fridge and rustling something up for dinner either. She would spend a fair amount of time at the weekends making meals from scratch for the coming days.

Soups, pies, cakes, stews, curries (a speciality). She’s good.

And she’s proud of it, too.

And me?

Well . . . some of the reasons I don’t do the same were borne out in the results of this survey, carried out by household brand Kenwood.

Lack of knowledge

24% of respondents said that a lack of knowledge stopped them spending more time in the kitchen. This is definitely the case for me, despite my mother’s many valiant attempts to teach me over the years.

I can read passably well, and remember the steps I’m supposed to be taking. They just never lead me where I expect to go.

In fact, I’m convinced there’s some sort of sorcery between the recipe book and the plate. And the necessary incantations are beyond my comprehension.

How else can you explain several attempts at one meal yielding wildly different, creatively inedible results?


The study also suggested that the convenience of modern life might explain our lack of culinary credibility.

One in 10 survey respondents suggested the rise of delivery services discouraged them from cooking, while a whopping 52% stated that the amount of microwave meals available meant that they “cooked” for much less time.

Alex Pickering, from Kenwood, hit the nail on the head here.

“People see cooking as a chore. It’s something you have to do, rather than something you want to do,” he said.

“As a result, many are now cooking the quickest and easiest thing they can think of, rather than whipping something up because they want to.”

What can we do?

The best way to combat concerns over the time it takes to cook, and the expertise it requires, is to seek out recipes that are easy to follow and quick to make.

Luckily for our readers, we provide just those sorts of recipes every week in “The People’s Friend” and on our Cookery pages right here on the website!

Try some of Cookery Ed Marion’s recipes right here.

I must admit, the Blueberry And Yoghurt Pancakes looked good!

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.