Are you hungry?
I’ll cook you something tasty.
Many have heard this phrase, most often from their mother. My mother wasn´t good at comforting with words at all, but “comfort food” was absolutely her thing. The exotic scent of chicken curry with yellow rice, or a slice of tea cake with lots of dried fruit and nuts in it, or sometimes just a cup of black tea with sugar, does it for me. I live in Germany, where they generally don´t put milk in tea.
Dishes that bounce you back to your childhood or simply say, “Calm down, it’s not that bad,” or “Well done!” Our grandmothers learned first and foremost how to feed their families. But when our mothers, thanks to various kitchen helpers, had a little more time, they began to refine their grandmother’s and mother´s recipes a little bit.
Food was not just a necessity like washing clothes but could be a pleasure. Today, it’s often about creating a meal in fifteen or thirty minutes at the most, using some “convenience” products. At the same time, we remain in the ubiquitous rush mode. Cook quickly, eat fast, and carry on.
Slow down, you move too fast…
One of the best ways to slow down is by cooking and eating, if you celebrate it. Yes, it can even start with shopping, if you do not rush through a crowded supermarket. Going to the local Farmshop for fruit and vegetables and whatever else they sell, can be joyous – knowing that the produce is grown nearby and it’s not covered in plastic wrap. Or strolling amongst the stalls of a weekly market, if you are lucky enough to have one near you.
The AA+ version is then taking your time to walk through a market hall, where specialties from all over the world are tantalizingly displayed. I could make a day of doing that, trying things and talking to the vendors.
Maybe that sounds backward-looking. But we do seem to be longing to slow down, why else would we have turned back to knitting and crocheting and painting in coloring books? We seem to be everywhere and constantly available and connected, and yet somehow not. Is there a better way to be truly connected with people than cooking and eating?
Update: I wrote this text before we had Corona. Now we have had to slow down, so “longing to slow down” may not seem appropriate. But perhaps these hard times will have shown us that slowing down does have its upsides, like more home cooking.
Not a pure cookery blog?
There are so many gorgeous cookery blogs out there, with amazing recipes and stunning photography that make you just want to dive into the page and eat. Maybe I will get there someday, but for now that is not my prime aim.
You won´t find the perfect design, I am an absolute digital immigrant and still learning after all. And as far as the cooking is concerned, well most of you are are probably home cooks. So am I, and boy do things sometimes still go wrong in my kitchen. To be truthful I am aiming for charming imperfection.
Not facts overload
I will be talking about many aspects of food and eating, and of course I will research what I say. You are not going to be reading academic essays though. I don´t just want to be telling you things. Do you ever get the feeling you can have too much good advice? There is a book for everything these days, and we look for advice from people we don’t know – from parenting to organizing our houses. It´s true, it can be helpful. But I think we have forgotten how to trust our gut feelings. You might be surprised to know that there is even medical research that says you should trust your gut.
So what is this and what is in it for you?
By talking about the food we used to eat and the colourful memories around it, I would love to inspire you to think differently about what you eat and how you cook. Ok that does sound like the introduction to a recipe blog. I don´t aim to tell you what do do, I hope to trigger some of your own thoughts about what food means you.
How does it work?
I am offering you some recipes both from my past and from a few others. For most recipes there is a story to go with them. I hope this will nudge you to recall your own food memories, and perhaps share them.
A cultural trait
It doesn’t hurt to remember that eating together is a deeply cultural trait that emerged after people no longer just found food along the way and put it straight into their mouths.
What we don´t realize is that by picking up some food in the supermarkt or on the hop somewhere and gobbling it up on a park bench in five minutes, without even really acknowledging what we are eating or even tasting it, (You need to give your taste buds time to work and chew food to experience that), we are returning to the mode “hunt and gather.”
While we eat, we talk to people on different devices or even to non-people on devices. We listen to the news and do all sorts of things apart from concentrating on the most important thing: to nourish ourselves well.
Apart from the fact that we are depriving ourselves of such an elementary need, we are also harming our health, but that is another story.