The gen-xers are all grown up now and cooking everyday is a bit daunting. Even as working parents, we’re trying our best to eat right. We sort of made a rule to only eat out twice a week and cook homemade meals the rest of the time. How did our moms manage to cook meals everyday of their lives? It takes hard work to sustain a pattern of homemade meals with the prep, the cooking, and the clean up, then do it all over again the next night.
Three things inspire us:
1) Our garden that gives food and life lessons. It’s still new and blooming with kale, celery, basil, spinach, and broccoli. We’ve yet to see the outcome of our tomatoes and corn. Kai loves planting the seedlings, watering them, and racing his trains around the growing leaves.
2) The Chez Panisse Book of Pasta, Pizza, and Calzone makes cooking delicious food seem so simple. The recipes are in order by season. Last night we made fettucine with fava beans from green string farm, basil and chives from our garden, and crème faiche. It was my first time cooking with fava beans, I learned that the beans have to be shelled twice.
3) Thich Nhat Hanh. I love shopping for food and cooking. Six months ago, I still did not favor doing dishes and putting them away. I’ve learned recently that everything should be done with mindfulness, even the dishes. It sounds like a hoot, but really it works. I can’t tell you how my mind has been transformed and I can enjoy cleaning up the kitchen more than I ever have in my life. The other thing that Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us is to focus on the food as we are eating it. To maybe even eat in silence and not be tempted to read a magazine as we eat. To eat slowly with intention makes a difference in the experience.
People ask me sometimes how I’m able to balance life, work, creative projects, and a kid. Nourishing myself and my family is the first step in achieving that balance. Like anything else, there’s some hard work involved but the rewards are endless and delicious.