"A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes."
-- Wendell Berry, The Pleasure of Eating
I taught myself how to cook one summer after working on an organic wine farm in Italy (hi, Katia and Gigi, if you're reading!) where I read The Omnivore's Dilemma and, afterwards, in a food activism frenzy, signed up for a CSA. All of a sudden I had more vegetables than I knew what to do with — What is a kohlrabi? — and no desire or budget to throw them away. Soon, I was making everything from scratch and buying raw milk from an undisclosed location in Park Slope. Once, I drove from Brooklyn to Massachusetts to buy 50 pounds of unmilled grain so I could make my own flour to make my own bread. This was probably stretching the limits of locavorism (and definitely the limits of our kitchen storage), but grocery stores made me squeamish. They were so bright and shiny and cheerfully manipulative.
I've settled into a more reasonable rhythm now and will not judge you for eating an imported fruit or vegetable. (There was a time.) In fact, as you're reading this, I am probably on the East Coast eating an avocado. So busted. But seriously: Food matters. Knowing where our food comes from is a privilege and a right. It is personal, political, spiritual, and essential. The choices we make about the food we eat have an impact that goes far beyond what we put in our bodies.
Cooking for myself and the people I love has changed my life. It is my favorite way to meditate and the best time to listen to podcasts (hi, Krista Tippett, if you're reading!). Any stress, discomfort, bad juju, or weirdness I had around food and my body disappeared when I started sourcing and cooking my own meals. I am happier, healthier, and more sated than I was when I outsourced the business of nourishing myself.
As much as possible I eat seasonal, local, and organic produce and humanely-raised and pastured meat from farms I trust. Right now I don't eat / drink alcohol, soy, dairy, gluten, or refined sugar. I am a Sun Potion fan girl and a very amateur gardener. One day I will have chickens and a garden big enough to ensure I never have to eat anything that was once wrapped in plastic ever again.
I'm an intuitive cook so my tips are very: Cook it until it's done! If you've ever prepped food with me and asked what size to cut something I have probably said, "How big would you like it to be when you put it in your mouth?"
Cut it how you want it. Cook it until it's done. I hope to demystify cooking for whoever is hungry and curious. The freshest food, prepared with love, is always the best. User-friendly-but-still-intuitive recipes live here.