These days it is so easy to buy food already prepared or partially prepared. People have strayed from the kitchen and gravitated to the deli counter, take out window, and frozen food aisle. Frankly, I can’t really think of what else to say beyond “it bums me out”. I know, I sound about 15 when I write that but it’s true. The demise of family dinner and homemade meals truly does get me down.
I was lucky enough to have a Micheal Pollan moment a few weeks ago. A dear friend invited me to hear him speak at a breakfast at her daughter’s school. I was so excited that morning-I had butterflies in my stomach (goofy but true). He spoke for a long while, heralding the benefits of CSAs and Farmer’s Markets and the tragedy that is our industrialized food system. He also talked about the importance of sharing with your kids the source of the food on your table and the process of cooking. He is fantastic speaker who talks with no notes, plenty of levity, and a relatable quality that allows him to explain pretty heavy subjects in terms anyone can, and should, understand. I love the guy.
When the speech was over he sat down for a book signing. I rushed upstairs, not with a Pollan book but with my own book. I’d written him a note, thanking him for inspiring me to teach and write the way I do. I felt like an eight year old girl meeting Hannah Montana. I could barely hand him the book and talk at the same time, stumbling over words and turning beet red, I’m sure. Needless to say, he was incredibly gracious, paged through the book, and said to me “Wow, this is gorgeous. Not only will I look at this but I will cook from it too.”. I was thrilled.
As I walked in my kitchen to cook my own dinner last night, I thought of Michael Pollan and his simple philosophy of cooking your own food. We grilled two rib eye steaks and alongside I made homemade French fries (baked very crispy in the convection oven) and my old recipe for homemade Caesar salad. This is the meal people go out for but why? It’s so easy to make yourself, costs way less, and tastes just delicious.
Next time you think about what to do for dinner, make it yourself. You can start with this Caesar. Happy Cooking!!