>respecting the food you eat

>I’ve devoted much of this past year to cooking better. I suppose everybody needs a hobby, so I figured I’d adopt a more useful one. {Not in any way to dismiss your dog sweater-knitting group…}

Now, before you picture a scene from Julie & Julia or something, I need to emphasize that it started in an ideal foodie city that supports and praises its hospitality industry. I came to the realization that I needed to learn how to cook better. I’ve always loved cooking, but found myself cooking the same thing over and over again in different forms. The world just seemed to offer so much good stuff and I found myself limited in skill and technique.

I took a knife skills class. I learned how to properly cut an onion and why certain knives are important to have around.
What it came down to was honoring the food we bought and cooked. It really shifts the way you think about food and what you buy with your hard earned dollars. I was tired of messing up simple things. I grew frustrated with wasting great pieces of meat/veggies with too much salt or mixed them with any bad assortment of things.

With this, I’ve been sticking my nose in books that dive into the world of the professional chef and investing in some really incredible [albeit, intimidating] cookbooks. I can’t often afford great ingredients, but it makes it so much more worth it when you can and actually do it well. I feel like honoring our food is important.

For instance, we roasted a chicken a few weeks ago…and found ourselves saying, “Thanks chicken…for feeding us and tasting so good!” It was funny as we caught ourselves talking to a piece of meat, but for what it was worth, it felt good. It felt good to know we didn’t waste it…that we used it again to make stock that fed us a week later.

If anything, cooking gives me much peace. The kitchen is a great comfort to me because it has allowed me to constantly learn new things and feed others in the process. So, there was nothing more to do than just dive in. Stretching our limits as far as culinary skills go, felt important. It’s something that I’m affirmed in, perhaps coming from a deep Southern heritage of good and simple cooks who love to sit around the table to share a meal.

I saw the joy in feeding others and in return, found that it fed my soul.

And in the end…that’s all that matters.

That…and a belly full of good food.

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2 responses

  1. >Hi Nance!I took my knife skills class at "In Good Taste" in NW Portland. It's not too expensive…maybe $65 — you can go to their website where they have lots of dates to choose from. 🙂

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