Tuesday, September 1, 2009

no to fast food and fast eating

Cooking is my sedative. I find making sauces, chopping vegetables and marinating meat very relaxing. I can use my hands to produce something creative and tasty, while my mind is free to ponder life.

Yesterday I made my husband's favorite meal. Meatballs made with ground turkey breast, stewed in a tomato spinach basil sauce served over pappardelle pasta. I would provide you with the recipe, however, I don't actually use recipes. I do it differently every time. Sometimes I add mustard to the meatballs. Often I add sugar to sweeten the sauce. It changes depending on my mood. I don't really bake because what I love about cooking is that it is open to interpretation. Art - if executed correctly - can be at its height when paintings are most abstract. Similarly, when cooking, the most unique and flavorful dishes are created when experimentation and innovation are channeled. A painter will rarely be able to paint the exact same work twice, not because of a lacking of talent - but because art often reflects a moment, and no two moments are alike. So too with cooking, no two dishes are alike because they absorb the weather, mood of the chef, and quality of the ingredients.

I could pontificate on the symbolism of gourmet food for hours and hours...but my advice for today is the following:
Take the time to sit down and have a real meal at least 3 out of 7 nights of the week. This used to be done in our parents and grandparents generation. A real meal should be nutritious and delicious, and accompanied by a before-dinner cocktail or a glass of wine while you eat. You must eat with a loved one, whether it be a friend, boyfriend or spouse and kids. Dinner cannot be rushed. Conversation should interesting, so read the newspaper earlier in the day or the Huffington Post and keep in mind a subject matter you have an opinion on that you would like to express. Don't leave the table in less than 45 minutes from the time the food is served. This is a recipe for truly connecting to those closest to you, and enjoying what it means to dine the old fashioned way. I guess I do give out recipes after all...

Try this at home and let me know how it uplifts your once average weeknight dinners, or if you dine like this currently, share with me how it has added to your life.

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