Why Kitchen Think?
We ought to think before using our mouths… before things go in, and before things come out. What we eat (ingress) and what we say (egress) tend to have effects that transcend the moment.
Eating French Fries at lunch might be just the indulgence that marks a transition from a really bad morning to a better afternoon. Eating fries every day is probably a marker of a less than healthy relationship with food, and a predictor of a gradual transition toward medical diagnoses that no one really wants.
In a very unscientific random sampling of one, I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing goes better with a meal than a big helping of conversation. What better time to ponder life’s meaning than while cooking and eating. Plus, thinking in the kitchen and at the table provides a second sort of sustenance, one that nourishes emotionally and intellectually. Thanks to the global supermarket a chef’s salad probably contains a few current events – so there’s always fodder for chat. Good conversation is yang to food’s ying.
Kitchen Think is my way of bringing assorted chairs to a virtual table. It’s the online version of AndyFood – the culinary studio I owned for a dozen years. A kitchen is a place to create, share, collaborate, taste, laugh, get misty-eyed (from chopping onions or coping with life), and bring life (in the joie de vivre sense) to our day-to-day existence. My kitchen will always be a studio, because cooking is art.
The Slow Food movement embodies a food-as-art sensibility (or ideal) with the goal that we ought to prepare food with more in mind than calories, nutrients, and profit. Even a sandwich can be an ephemeral bit of edible art. A person can be inspired, or inspirational in a kitchen without actually cooking. Be the bringer of wine, flowers, or history-infused salt from the Dead Sea you happened upon at Harrods and bought with me in mind (it happened, thank you Jan Johnson). Make brilliant conversation or help with the cleanup.
Cooking is a therapeutic blend of repetition and creativity. When I’m alone in the kitchen the voices you hear are probably form a classic black and white movie. Audrey Hepburn has spent a lot of time in my kitchen, along with most of the Avengers and a lot of hobbits. When I make chili or quesadillas I invite Mexico to my table and I embrace a culture different from the one I inherited. When I eat Salade Niçoise or make my own vadouvan I’m a bit French, unless you’re French, and then I’m an American who speaks French like Miss Piggy.
I’m not sure I can have an authentic Zen moment since I’m not a Buddhist, but when I cook I often find myself very much in the moment, able to appreciate the ingredients and the process, and taking great pleasure creating something that’s more than the sum of it’s parts.
This blog lets me share my thoughts with you whenever I “Kitchen Think.”
A few disclaimers:
- I’m not a dietician or nutritionist. Make your own decisions about what’s best and healthiest for you to eat. Better yet, ask your doctor.
- Don’t use a kitchen tool or piece of equipment if you don’t know how. You could hurt yourself or damage things. I’m not necessarily suggesting you follow my every lead. And, it’s the 21st century – there’s an online tutorial for just about anything.
- I enjoy a bit of irony and sarcasm in my humor – and I enjoy humor. Don’t take what I say personally. That said; if I’ve caused offense please accept my apologies. If I repeatedly cause offense, maybe we’re not compatible. There’s no way I can make everyone happy – and if I constantly tried I’d be awfully boring.
- Comments: If you’re profane or hateful your comments won’t be posted. My blog – my rules.