In the past weeks it has slowly come to light to me that I am going to need to work on building my cooking skill up, as I've taken recently to actually buying food off the AH. This is because unlike level 60 End Game, the literal benefits of cooked food in TBC are unlike anything we'd seen prior.
Admittedly, cooking is not something that I'd ever given much thought to, because… well, I'm a mage. I can conjure food out of thin air, without all the headache of collecting ingredients and then having to find a cooking fire (which has been, to be perfectly honest, always a pain in the neck as far as I'm concerned). On alts who've been able to cook in the past, I often found myself bothered by the need to allot a certain amount of bag space to holding on to small quantities of this ingredient or that ingredient… only to turn them into small quantities of something else. Cooking has also long been somewhat pointless for mages or anyone who can heal themselves, just out of principle. But that's neither here nor there now.
Nowadays, I've been fond of this:
Use: If you spend at least 10 seconds eating, you will become well fed and gain 23 Spell Damage and 20 Spirit for 30 min.
Not only does this make for a very nice raid buff, it has the added benefit of being stackable in quantities of 20, which is awesome (as opposed to potions, which of course only stack to 5). It makes it easy to bring an ample quantity of it with you wherever you go. There are also a couple other receipes with the same effect, just in case I find that I don't specifically find pleasure in grinding basilisks (a distinct possibility).
So of course now, simply being able to conjure my own comparatively drab food is really no longer an excuse for me to not have a built cooking skill. This stuff is simply too good to pass up on and now I am faced with the less than fabulous prospect (and mild humiliation) of having to go back Elwynn Forest and (potentially) annoy level 5 players by committing a brief mass annihilation of the boar population there (they'll respawn in 2 minutes, I promise!).