Why Do We Cook?

by Aengus Anderson
Courtesy photo
The Kids Cook illustration

Why do we like to cook? Is it the satisfaction of being able to care for our needs? Or is it the enjoyment of being in the kitchen surrounded by our delicious creations?

Over the course of history, there have been chefs in every chapter. Some of them have been well-hidden, but in every era there have been people who have taken care of other people’s food-related needs. They have taken care of Julius Caesar and the Romans, the Visigoths and pirates, and everyone else.

Chefs have come and gone throughout history, right up until today, and what do they get in return? Why do they want to cook for others?

I once read a book called The Book of What If*, and it asked questions but gave no answers. It intrigued me and made me want to ask questions and discover answers for myself. That is what I am asking you to do. Reach down inside of you and try, try to come up with a reason why you like to cook.

apples, pears and blueberries


Apples, cored and sliced
Pears, cored and sliced
Fresh or frozen blueberries


  1. Put the sliced apples, sliced pears, and the blueberries in a wide saucepan. Put the pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add a glob of honey to the pan (not on the fruit), and stir it around with a spatula so that it melts and coats the fruit. After a short while the berries will split open and their juices will be coming out. It will make a pinkish-purplish sauce and soak into the fruit. Using a slotted spoon, take the fruit out of the pan and put it into a bowl.
  3. Put the unwashed pan back over medium-low heat, and add 60 ml (1/4 cup) of water. If there is brown stuff* in the bottom of the pan, steam will rise and the brown stuff will dissolve. Mix it up and pour into a separate bowl. Serve each serving of the fruit with a little of the liquid poured over it.

* The Book of What If…?: Questions and Activities for Curious Minds by Matt Murrie and Andrew R. McHugh (Beyond Words/Aladdin 2016)

**Editor’s note: The brown stuff is caramelized sugar from the honey.