One of my great pleasures is having a kitchen full of people cooking away. Fortunately for me, I’m frequently indulged.
Being the cook is great; everyone loves the you. One of the earliest rules my son learned in the kitchen: don’t piss off the cook. This rule helps in all stages of child development.
But, I digress. Today’s question: how to inspire people to get back into the kitchen and get their hands into the food. Involve all of the senses.
I think there is real sensory deprivation in today’s U.S. grocery stores. You have visual overload; but no smells, nothing to touch. How the heck are you going to get inspired by plastic bags of vegetables?
When I’m in Italy, going to the market is a once a week treat. I live in a rural community, so we only have a market on Wednesdays. The market is full of ripe vegetables in their prime, in their season. It’s a full on sensory overload: the guy who is yelling about his melons, the sounds of the shoppers, the smell of the lettuces, fruits, vegetables. It’s a veritable feast. You come home having made a connection with the grower, a recipe from the fishmonger (he gives recipes as he cuts up the fish, you don’t have a choice…he just expounds as he cleans), the cheese man stores up a goodie that he thinks will surprise you. The car is full of potential when you go home. It’s a joy to see and be surrounded by these vegetables and meats and fish and cheese.
Hello, Mr. A&P, are you listening? Put the joy back into your produce. I want to touch stuff…I’ll wear those little plastic gloves, but free your vegetables from their plastic bags.
Rant over. I feel better.
Tonight I’m going to listen to someone lecture on the history of absinthe. I sooo hope there will be a tasting! Cin-cin!