" I was 32 when I began cooking, before that I just ate"
My exploration begins...More and more, I find myself drawn to people who appreciate the joy of living and have a clear sense of self. A spirit and a joy for living that is so apparent and at times, contagious to all around. I had the chance to spend time with an old friend last week, her husband and teenage daughters. It was such a nice and casual evening. As we spent time together it was so clear that she enjoyed cooking and loved to bring people together and allow everyone to truly enjoy each others company.
As she casually mentioned the menu in the morning, I kept thinking about what a wonderful, simple summer meal it would be. Later, as we gathered in the kitchen, I realized that in part the menu was about allowing us all to come together in the kitchen, enjoy a glass of wine, and participate in preparing the evenings food. A goat cheese salad, grilled veggies and corn, a delicious cheeseburger and finally fresh fruit and coconut sorbet. All enjoyed outdoors under a summer sky. By the time we sat for dinner, we had all had the chance to reconnect, catch up and spend time over dinner in a group conversation. Her daughters and husband enjoying the evening ( I think ) as much as old friends..
As I return home, I continue to think about the joy of cooking and feel a strong pull to explore this more. It truly is a labor of love, the notion of connection and sharing with family and friends. I think about the Farmers Market on Saturday morning, and how much fun it is to go with the kids..Preparing meals with foods found here are far more pleasurable and connect us with the community as well. I think about a dinner with friends on Saturday night, and the fun of making the desert we are planning to bring. And finally, I think about the quality of these choices, and when I make conscious choices how good it feels.
As I explore, I found some amazing resources...
Julie and Julia, A Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell-A Treasure of a a book that will help to show you that anything is possible once you
101 Cookbooks-A Fantastic blog by Heidi Swanson who then went on to author the books below. Her attention to quality, natural ingredients and the true appreciation of whole foods makes cooking a joy on so many levels. In addition, as you will see in the books below, she is an amazing photographer which brings an additional element of beauty to every posting.
Super Natural Cooking and Cook 1.0-These two books from Heidi Swanson are an inspiration.
To pausing and enjoying the experience of food, and to begin to develop a different sense of what quality choices can look like. When you read through the first chapter of Super Natural Cooking you begin to think about food in a totally different light.
Optimum Wellness by Kathy Freston-Just out, her thoughts on living thoughtfully are explored. Mindful eating, and really understanding the process of finding, preparing and appreciating food gave me pause. Her thoughts on mindfulness in other areas help to give me perspective on the impact of small lifestyle choices.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle-This book and now website from Barbara Kingsolver is on my nightstand and a planned summer read. I long for a garden in which we can all plant, cultivate and grow some of our own vegetables..This will give me much to think about as I plan this wonderful place.
To culinary appreciation, learning and adventure.