Thoughts from a dusty food journal
I found an old journal under a pile of books. It was strictly about cooking and food. It was loaded with various quotes, some from long forgotten sources.
I thought I would share some of this rambling wisdom.
Eating is serious. We eat to live, to survive. We also eat for pleasure. Eating involves all the senses.
What we eat is a reflection of family tradition and our culinary cultural experiences.
Eating is the end result of cooking There is no reason to eat bad food.
There is no reason to treat food any different than other important aspects of your life. As long as we have to eat, we should eat well.
Cookery combines ancient and modern techniques and methods. From open fires to molecular gastronomy. Cooking is always evolving. Food preparation is always progressing as technology gets better.
Cooking and eating well are pursuits and journeys. You need to have an open mind and avid curiosity.
You can get by with a few recipes or meals. You can also expand yourself to, a life long pursuit of all that cuisines have to offer. Your only limits are self imposed.
Fernand Point, one of the greatest French chefs, opined that one must read everything, see everything, try everything, hear everything, and observe everything, in order to retain just a little bit. In the end, if you think you know it all, you are wrong. It is what you retain and use that is important.
People need to develop a hearty respect for food.
Poor people have way more respect for food and ingredients.
Scarcity drives creativity to turn humble ingredients into something wonderful. Poverty is considered the greatest influence on cuisine.
Many so-called classic recipes from around the world evolved from people in poverty. They took the humblest ingredients and turned them into something wonderful. Good examples are soups.
Speaking of soup, it is one of the most comforting and restorative things you can eat. There is something magical about a good soup.
Cookery and cuisines, their fusions, globalization, and progression reflect the progression of the human race. The cultural diversity of cooking and cuisines makes us all a better people.
The more we explore the cuisines from around the world, the better we understand the people who created them. When we try to replicate them, we honor those people.
Understand this. There is no repulsive or bad food. There is only food prepared properly and food prepared improperly. If any food or ingredients are basically prepared correctly, they will be enjoyable.
Too many of us shun foods because of bad experiences. Most of the time those experiences were caused by people incorrectly preparing the item. Asparagus and Brussel sprouts are just two examples of this.
We live in an age of culinary wonder. Even mediocre grocery stores have products from all over the world. The least expensive equipment and utensils are way better than our parents and grandparents had.
We live in a land of plentiful abundance. A great wonder of our world is what and how much we waste or throw away. It is sinful. Be miserly in your kitchen. Even scraps can be used for other things. Learn how to save food instead of wasting it.
Someone described America as a “fast food nation.” It is all too true.
Look around in your community or the area where you work. Try to find independently owned restaurants that prepare their own food.
Search for real ethnic restaurants. There is no need to stuff your maw with the mung and dreck served by the fast food chains.
Eat well, enjoy the pursuit and journey.