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  1. 1. Jasmine FahrnbauerMrs. CorbettAP LiteratureApril 1, 2012 Speech Did you know that approximately 41 percent of women in America either don’tknow how to cook or choose not to cook for their families on daily basis? Hi my name isJasmine Fahrnbauer and for my senior project I decided to not be one of these womenwho fall under this statistic. I wanted to create something useful and meaningful andlearn a skill that would be helpful to me for the rest of my life. This lead me to thecreation of my family cookbook. For my research paper, I decided to explore the art of home cooking. I found thatover the years, the number of families who still have home cooked meals everyday aregreatly decreasing. I wanted to discover what kind of problems this lifestyle is causing,which lead me to the topic of my research paper, the effects of childhood obesity.Through my research, I found that the majority of Americans eat fast food or go out to eaton a daily basis, thus causing the art of home cooking to slowly become a lost art. Idiscovered that the majority of people this lifestyle directly affected were children. Thelack of nutrition these children receive from these fast food diets caused them to becomeincreasingly obese giving them issues that will follow them for the rest of their lives.Healthy home cooking is one of the easiest ways to prevent childhood obesity. Throughmy research I discovered that these home cooked meals are crucial to a child’s ability tofunction and achieve their utmost potential in life. Studies have been shown to prove that
  2. 2. children who receive poor diets have lower IQs. In a study that came out recently, it wasproven that students with a poor nutrition intake scored lowered on an achievement testthan their peers did with adequate nutrition. Proper nutrition allows the brain to functionquickly and accurately. It is also allows quicker and easier information recall. Propersustenance not only benefits a student’s education through their ability toacquireknowledge but it allows students to stay more physically active. Kids are morecapable of staying active, awake, and less lethargic. During my research for my paper, Ialso explored the social effects obesity has on children. Being an obese childautomatically makes kids more susceptible to being victims and perpetrators of bullying.These children start to become bitter towards their appearance and they begin to take itout on others and even themselves. They become more self conscious causing their selfesteem to significantly decrease during the most vulnerable stages of their lives. Theseare just a few of the many examples of why parents need to switch back to cookinghealthy home cooked meals, instead of fueling their children’s bodies with empty caloriesthat will eventually give them more health problems. If more parents started cooking fortheir children healthy wholesome meals the number of children suffering from obesitywould greatly decrease.Which lead me to the idea of creating a family cookbook. I didn’t want to become amother one day that couldn’t provide a good home cooked meal for my family. So, formy senior project, I decided to create a family cookbook and learn to cook some of therecipes. My grandmother was also a huge inspiration behind my project. She grew up inGermany learning to cook at a young age. Her grandmother taught her everything there is
  3. 3. to know about the art of cooking. So one day, my grandmother encouraged me to learn allthe family recipes so that one day when I am a mother I will be able to cook the samehealthy and delicious meals for my family that I grew up tasting. Since most of therecipes were in her memory and hadn’t been written down, my grandmother alwayswanted one of her grandchildren to put together a cookbook and complied all theserecipes into one place so that one day when she is gone, we can hold on to a memorythrough her wonderful cooking. Because I knew this would be my last year at homebefore leaving for college, I thought this would be a great opportunity to take advantageof having my grandmother and mother around to teach me their recipes and how to cook. I started off my project by calling me grandmother and sharing with her mythoughts for the project. Once I told her about all my ideas, she was thrilled. She agreedto meet up with me as often as she could. She also told me that she thought it wouldprobably would be best to include all my aunts recipes in their as well. The beginning ofmy project was designated to meeting with my grandmother and discussing her recipes.She invited me to her house where I was able to write down most of her recipes. A fewdays later, I invited all my aunts over and told them to bring their recipes. I talked withthem shortly about my project and they told me recipes while I wrote them down. Sincethey didn’t have enough recipes with them I ask if they could email me some more overthe course of the next few weeks. My goal was to get 40 recipes in my cookbook. While Iwas busy coordinating and meeting up with my family members I also was meeting upwith my project facilitator, Mrs. Carnes. I chose Mrs. Carnes because she was my Foodnutrition and wellness teacher at the beginning of the year. She gave me good insight on
  4. 4. creating my product. We met several times over the course of the year. She helped mecreated my outline, find websites for my research paper, and gave me tips on how to cookeach recipes in a healthy way. She also told me what I could do to substitute ingredientssuch as eggs and milk. She also told me how to create my cookbook online, even thoughI ended up choosing Microsoft word since it was easier to navigate and understand.Once I received all my recipes, I began to type up my cookbook. The majority of the timespent on my project was the actual making of the product. Having to type up 43 recipeson Microsoft was not easy. I am not good with computers and struggled trying to figureout how to format it. Although at first I debated on whether or not to publish mycookbook online using websites such as lulu.com, they usually cost a lot more money andvery difficult to understand. So I stuck with Microsoft. The process of typing, editing,and revising were very time consuming and difficult. It took me hours on the computer tofix all my errors. I had many people such as my mother, sister, and Ms. Carnes look at itbefore I went to get it finalized and printed. During the process of me making mycookbook, I would also invite my grandmother over to teach me to cook her recipes. Shecame over several times and each time we cooked something new. Our first meeting Iwas able to learn how to cook her famous German potato pancakes. Once I knew how todo it, I would practice cooking the recipes when she wasn’t around. I cooked some formy brother since those were his favorite. Over the course of several months, I learned tocook her sweet potato casserole, marinated Salad, potato salad, apple pie, Beef Rouladen,pork dish, cranberry salad, cucumber salad, and pecan pie.
  5. 5. Through this whole process, I learned a lot about cooking. I learned that youcould substitute many different ingredients. Many times when I was making a recipe andwe didn’t have an ingredient or we didn’t have enough of an ingredient. I learned frommy mother that many things could be substituted without even noticing the different taste.I also learned that you don’t always have to be accurate. My mother and grandmotherboth taught me that I don’t always have to follow a recipe to the exact measure that itcalls for. Sometimes, it can end up tasting better when you experiment to see what youlike the most. One of the major things I learned was that practice makes perfect. The onlyway I was able to become a better cook was to mess up and learn from those mistakes.Another thing I learned was to never give up. Many times through the process of cookingthe foods I would burn them, or completely mess up the recipe. Sometimes I even burnedmyself. It was definitely a huge frustration for me at some points. However, I had toendure through the frustration because after all it was just a learning experience. Readingabout the effects of poor nutrition also encouraged me to better my diet and decreased mydesire to eat fast food. I was able to share my findings with my family members andfriends. I will continue to peruse this topic and improve my cooking skills so one daywhen I am a mother, my children will be able to enjoy the same home cooked meals thatI had growing up. I learned thought this whole process that I can pick up a new skill pretty quick. Itwas pretty easy for me to remember most of the recipes. Thank you for your time! Arethere any questions?