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Due to the restrictions and the lockdown, with restaurants and hotels closing in 2020, have deprived people of the restaurant dining experience. If you like special food and gastronomy, that is foreign to you, the easiest way to enjoy it was in a restaurant before the pandemic started.
However, some restaurants that were open for business, quickly had to switch to home delivery and accordingly package and present the food, that their customers ordered, it is not a small task, if they were aiming to offer a similar experience to the diner, who ordered their dinner. Especially if the person has been a regular customer of the restaurant before. Therefore, the chefs had to put a lot of emphasis on packaging and presentation if they wanted to keep the restaurant's revenue, which was already declining, somewhat above the average.
What is certain is, that dinner has always been a good occasion to celebrate special events such as an engagement, a wedding anniversary or perhaps a company celebration. These special occasions had to be organized at home in the context of a dinner party, but it was not possible to create large gatherings at home either, only family events could be celebrated.
This brought to the fore the preparation of meals at home, which involved no small amount of work including shopping. The number of online cooking courses has increased in the past year. Here let me remember our parents and grandparents, who learned to cook from their parents or family members and had no opportunity to take an online course.
Yet they learned all the tricks and the food would have been fit for a restaurant. The older and more experienced the family member was, the better they could prepare the food and the more delicious it was. I remember when I was little my brother and I lived with my parents and grandparents in the same household and often had a choice of what we had for dinner. Needless to say, our grandmother's cooking was always better than our mother's. This is understandable, as our mother learned to cook from our grandmother.
Let's get back to the topic, we can make a casual dinner in our own home, if we have the right ingredients. There are plenty of recipes on the internet, even in video form. However, I find it hard to imagine standing there with a knife or any other utensil needed for cooking and watching a video while trying to cook.
Our job is so simplified nowadays, that there are so-called DIY boxes in which all the ingredients can be found prepared. The vegetables can be bought cut up and washed ready to cook. I don't know about you, but I like to choose my own ingredients for a meal, and I think that preparation is part of cooking.
I like to cook. I like to do everything myself, from the shopping to the finished meal. I like to know what I'm putting into the food, that I'm going to eat and serve to others. There's no better feeling, than when someone compliments your cooking and you know you have given a lot of effort to it and your best knowledge and passion.
Of course, cooking at home doesn't mean you have to become a first-class chef. That's not the aim, it's to put delicious, well-prepared food on the table. Variety is a pleasure, and sometimes it's nice to have a meal that is quick and easy to prepare, but still a hearty feast for the whole family. Unless you are preparing a meal for an exceptional occasion, I understand that you don't want to spend hours in the kitchen cooking.
I like a wide variety of dishes and not only draw ideas for cooking from my own gastronomy, but also like to try traditions from other nations. These include Asian dishes, which are quite spicy. Of course, I can't resist the food of my own country, as I grew up on it.
We Hungarians have a very distinctive cuisine and many of our dishes are heavy. What I really like is, that it is varied and there are many dishes, that can be cooked outdoors. There is a great tradition of cooking outdoors in Hungary. So I felt, that I had to learn to cook in a bogrács.
A bogrács is a large cooking pot, which is hung on a tripod with a chain and the food in it cooked over a fire, the smoke from which makes the food taste even more delicious. A variety of stews of beef, pork or lamb and the famous Gulyás or fish soup can also be cooked in this pot. Traditionalists even organize cooking competitions or food and drink as festivals as we are famous for wine as well.