The economy in the doldrums, Food and Wine magazine expects the stand-out food trend for 2009 will be cooking at home. My informal chattin'-with-friends "research" backs up that prediction. Aside from my anecdotal information, the following solid stat certainly gives credence to home cooking's ascendancy. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers reports that 2008 shipments of home freezers were up five percent as consumers started stocking up on frozen sale items.
Well, what's on the menu for home cookin'? Food and Wine suggests classics such as meatloaf and turkey casseroles as well as macaroni and cheese are hip again. Supermarket News reports that prepared foods are not selling as well as retailers had hoped. It seems consumers are opting for less-prepared food and ingredients. This could be the golden moment for a revival of culinary skills in America's kitchens.
Update February 15, 2009: The San Francisco Chronicle reported recently that meatloaf is making a resurgence in area restaurants. In addition to the comfort-food aspect, "affordable ingredients and less labor allows for a lower price point on menus - not insignificant in this economy," says Chronicle staff writer Amanda Gold.