GET INTO YOUR KITCHEN!
How many times in a day do you hear about how busy everyone is? It’s pretty much a cliché now, as in, barely worth discussing. We are all soooo busy, and talking about it seems a waste of our most valuable resource...time. Also, it’s boring listening to someone rattle off their list. I try so hard not to use “being busy” as an excuse for being ineffective in any area of my life. I stop after “apologies for the delay.” The apology implies how something more urgent needed my attention, the end.
If anyone cares for what my reasons are, for being late on things, it is usually because I was cooking a bunch of food for my family and myself. Honestly – cooking never gets knocked off my list. If I might refer to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it really is an essential piece to survival. Of course, we live in a world which offers all kinds of alternatives to real nourishment. Processed, preserved, modified, fortified & definitely mortified...NOTHANKYOU.
Maybe this sounds high & mighty...not intended, of course. To temper any high & mighty, I will point out, I refuse clothing for anyone in my house that requires ironing or can’t go in the washer & drier. If it can’t go in the dishwasher, it can’t come in my house (one exception, my fancy gold wine glass). If there’s a kid around that wants $10 to mow my lawn, yes! I give my kids an allowance to do chores for which they shouldn’t really be compensated, and I give away our refundables to bottle drives, because I definitely don’t have time (or want) to do that. I will take shortcuts, believe me, just not with food.
Cooking nutritious food can definitely take time, especially if you’re a rookie in the kitchen, but the process is cumulative. I was lucky to grow up in a household absent of Kraft Dinner and TV dinners, so I had a good start. I learned a few basics as a kid, and continued to build on it my entire life. I still get super excited for new ideas that show up in magazines or online, but ultimately, my survival manual includes the delegation of Monday afternoon to making a giant quinoa salad, roasting a bunch of chicken breasts, a couple pans of vegetables and potatoes, and usually making a huge soup that makes it easy to hide things my girls don’t like.
In my occasionally humble opinion, the truth is, until we get back in our kitchens regularly, like every day, the health crisis facing western societies will not recede. My generation was lucky, insofar as so much of the convenience food that exists today, wasn’t quite front & center yet. The microwave made its debut, but not in my house! My parents didn’t buy any convenience foods, and were frankly suspicious of anything that sat on grocery store shelves already prepared to eat. As a kid, I felt child protective services should be notified of the injustice, but as a parent now, of course I appreciate that logic (I too, am cynical and untrusting of most food processors...and banks and salespeople and warranties and..). With two girls of my own echoing my 12 year-old feelings on the matter, all is balanced in the universe I suppose.
“Shopping small” is somewhat of a catch phrase, but it speaks to me. The butcher, the baker... I have a handful of great local shops I hit up once a week. They are small retailers that I trust, each for specific products and specific reasons. Also, I like small parking lots.
Anyhow, as we enter 2018, I resolve, as I always do, to waste no food, by keeping my fridge sparse with everything visible. Nothing that will last more than a week, and nowhere to hide! Happy 2018...great health to you and yours!
The “I’ve-Never-Made-Soup” Soup Starter - it's vegan and freezes beautifully!
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
- 1L vegetable broth
- 3c chopped vegetables (peppers, beans, onion, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli...whatever you have...and roasted if you can be bothered!)
- 1c cubed yam
- 1c cubed potato
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- Lots of fresh grated ginger
- S&P to taste
Throw it all in...simmer for 20...immersion blend....serve!