Cooking real food, in a real kitchen, on a real budget.
Cooking real food…
Putting delicious, healthy, and affordable food on the table every day grows more challenging all the time. I think we need to fix that.
I believe anyone can cook if they want to learn how. Some better than others perhaps, sure. But a little knowledge, a little practice, and good ingredients work magic.
When I read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, his point of view really hit home with me.
“For a while it used to be that food was all you could eat. Today there are thousands of other edible foodlike substances in the supermarket.”
“I contend that most of what we’re consuming today is no longer, strictly speaking, food at all, and how we’re consuming it — in the car, in front of the TV, and, increasingly, alone — is not really eating, at least not in the sense that civilization has long understood the term.”
— Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food
I have cooked professionally, once upon a time. And even had a bit of formal training. I spent a few years of cooking in real restaurants too.
Then, like so many youths of my time, I got a good job programming computers. And lots of years slipped away.
But I do (and have done) most of the cooking in our house. No, I haven’t cooked for anyone like Chef Gordon Ramsey, but I have cooked for a couple of five-year-olds. And I taught them to cook.
Real food exists, we just need to re-learn how to recognize it and what to do with it once we’ve found it.
…in a real kitchen…
My kitchen isn’t new and it isn’t fancy.
I do have plenty of stuff we’ve hunted down or collected over the years. And we are the lucky curators of a hundred-year-old arts and crafts hobbit bungalow on the town’s main street.
But for cooking, I have a stove (4 burners and an oven), a microwave, and a toaster. Ta-da.
…on a real budget.
You won’t see truffles in my recipes. And we’re in Kansas, so typically only two kinds of fish: catfish and frozen.
Steak is maybe once a month.
Lots of farmer’s markets and trips to the Costco.
And I tend to shop at grocery store’s that don’t require my whole paycheck for one sack of groceries.
You can see my picture in the sidebar — I even combed my hair for that one.
Now that the kids are more-or-less grown, my everyday cooking companions, my kitchen familiars if you will, and quality-tasters of most things meat, are these two characters.
I spent more than twenty years busking the c-suite of the Fortune 500 as an Innovation Strategist, Distinguished Engineer, Master Technologist, Enterprise Architect, and a bunch of other fancy titles. Until I finally had enough of orbiting the giant hairball and more than enough airports, hotels, rental cars, and conference rooms.
For about thirty-five years, I have been married to my bestest friend in the world, my stalwart companion in great adventures, and the love of my life.
Our two kids, who amaze me every day in their fight to be their most authentic them. Both are loving and caring and kind and smart and talented. Of course.
And for all of this, I am astoundingly grateful.
The word companion is from the Old French meaning “one who breaks bread with another.”
Welcome to the kitchen. I’ve set you a place at the table.
I hope to see you around.
I think careful cooking is love, don’t you?
— Julia Child