Digging into How (and Why)
In Pilates, the most important part of an exercise is often the smallest movement (or the part of your body that isn’t moving at all!), and in order to further your own personal practice, it’s good to think about why that makes sense and how your body can pull it off.
The same concept is true of food and cooking. Digging into the how and why will make any food experience (yes, even heating up oatmeal or peeling a carrot!) so much richer.
I follow a ton of food-based feeds in my social media life–bloggers and magazines and famous people and friends. You can get caught up in the endless stream of 20-second videos and three-step recipes that rely on the dump-and-stir method of cooking, which we all know isn’t exactly how it goes down in the kitchen. It’s easy to end up feeling like, “Okay, if my life were that pulled together and photogenic, then of course, dinner would be simple and my breakfast would be ready for its close up.”
The problem is, many of these inspiration pieces skip over the important stuff.
I recently read the most wonderful article that praised Jacques Pepin, a living culinary legend, for always taking the time to explain why he was doing something during his long-running cooking show–why it was important to dice the onions in a particular way or thoroughly dry a piece of chicken before searing it. This is not something you often see on more contemporary cooking shows.
My vote will always be: don’t skip the prep! Use the time it takes you to chop an onion to decompress from the day and dream about the dinner to come. Freshly squeeze your lemon juice so that your hands are spritzed with the oil from the lemon skin, and you’ll smell delicious. Thinking about the why and how — and giving yourself enough time to be curious — can help connect cooking to your everyday life and make it more enjoyable.
This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Not only do I want to dig into mindfulness in the kitchen, but I want to know what you’re curious about and what you struggle with. Spend a little more time in the kitchen this week and report back! Let us know in the comments below.
This articles is brought to you by our newest RB blog contributor, Molly Siegler, RedBird teacher and Food Editor for Whole Foods Market. Molly will be bringing us articles on culinary technique, healthy recipes and information on how to stay mindful in the kitchen and stay present in our relationship with food. A classically trained chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, her professional background includes cooking instruction, nutrition education, local foods procurement, catering, cooking and baking at restaurants across the U.S., as well as recipe development and plenty of editing. As a student and special fellow at Grinnell College, Molly focused on community food systems and sustainability, as well as area school lunch programs and introducing children to new foods and the fun of cooking.