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Imagine a city where apartments and houses didn't come with kitchens, grocery stores did not exist, and there were only two restaurants--one was an extremely posh-looking restaurant called Golden Delicious. The exterior and interior of GD were always fancy but refined. The food at GD was the best-tasting and the staff were quite friendly. There were a couple of problems with GD, though--you couldn't decide where to sit in the restaurant, there were only two items on the menu, and the prices were too high for most people.
So Golden Delicious's competitor Micro-Meals decided it would create more affordable food for the masses. It opened up chains in several parts of the city, so people didn't have to trek out to Golden Delicious--they could just walk around the block. There were a few more items on the menu, and you could sit wherever you wanted. Micro-Meals still charged you a lot but not as much as Golden Delicious. Frankly, though, the food at Micro-Meals wasn't that good.
One day, a homeless person named Pengy in the city was extremely hungry and realized who wouldn't be able to eat at Golden Delicious or Micro-Meals. He decided he was going to start making meals for himself. There were no grocery stores. So he just started his own farm, growing his own food. He built himself a kitchen. Then, he started asking others what they would like in their food--not just what was on the menus in GD and MM.
All of a sudden, some folks really took to making their own food. Sure, they didn't all have farms, but a growing minority started putting kitchens in their houses and cooking various dishes to their own liking. Some of these Pengy advocates started telling their friends about great dishes they cooked at home and their friends loved the food.
But some friends did not love the food. They said, "Why would you cook at home? That's so much trouble. I can just pay $350 at Golden Delicious and get better food that's never burnt."
Pengy and his friends would reply. "Well, after you practice a little, get to learn how to cook food, you can make whatever you want, and if you understand a bit more about pots and pans, you won't burn your food."
Most people didn't really care. They would just go eat at Micro-Meals, which was around the block from every home. Good food or food choice was apart from their everyday concerns, but soon debates within the food-eating community arose:
"I've never had a cooked meal go as smoothly as a bought meal at Golden Delicious. In fact, I don't even know anyone who can cook the Boneless Chicken that GD has."
"Well, that's because GD won't release its recipe. Try this Lemon-marinated Chicken, though. I've released the recipe to others, and they can try it out and add their own suggestions."
"Cooking will never be ready for people's plates because you have to get your own ingredients, learn how to cook, and buy pots and pans."
"But cooking is much cheaper in the long run than going to GD or MM. Also, since you pick the ingredients yourself, you're less likely to get food poisoning."
"Yeah, but you can burn your food."
"I've never had burnt food at home because my husband cooks it just right."
"Well, that's because you have a husband to cook for you. I tried learning to cook myself, and it's just too difficult."
Eventually, though, MM got very angry with Pengy's new grocery store and tried to shut it down, but various underground grocery stores kept popping up. And the debate went on...
Oh, I forgot that some people who were so used to Micro-Meals got confused when suddenly instead of having a large menu, they could have any meal that could possibly be imagined. Too many recipes! Don't know where to start. What's a good one for a newbie chef?