The Art of Cooking
Pop and pour. Instant. Packaged. Gone are the days of kitchen aromas and rituals. Lost is the art of cooking.
I wonder about the future of food. What it will look like for our children…dehydrated salads, genetically modified fruit.
If we fail to pass along our recipes, if we forget how to cook from scratch….will the experience of home-made meals die alongside our love of good food?
I learned to bake from a grandma. Everyone loves my pie. A friend taught me to appreciate bread making; she made hallah every Friday morning. Now I am leaning on the knowledge of my elders to learn how to cook for my children and husband. I want everything from scratch. I want the aroma of spices to fill my kitchen. I want to experience it–I want soul food.
So I inched my way into a few happy kitchens for a 101 on goodness. I immediately noticed 2 things: everything is carefully prepped & measurements are intuited. Grandma style. I compiled a list of recipes, authentic in origin, rich in flavor and culture. Please enjoy!
Mexican Bean Soup
Pre-soak beans for approximately 30 minutes. (longer depending on bean)
Ingredients: mixed beans, barley, 2 bay leaves, onion, red pepper, tomato and garlic, potatoes, fresh thyme
Cook beans in water for approximately one hour, add barley 3/4 into cooking & add salt at end of cook time.
Sautee garlic in olive oil with onion, add red pepper and tomato, add fresh thyme.
Add potatoes (diced) and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Combine.
In a shallow skillet, boil water. Cook Chinese Udon noodles. Rinse in cold water.
Steam vegetables: snow pea, mushroom, carrot & bok choy (cut small, lightly salted)
Add spices. Amount varies to taste:
White pepper powder
Lee Kum Kee/Oyster flavored sauce (approx. 3 tbsp.)
Pure sesame oil (approx. 2 tbsp.)
Soy sauce (approx. 2 tbsp.)
Hot chili oil or crushed red pepper
Add Chicken (or any meat/tofu)–small pieces and portion, seasoned with soy sauce, white pepper powder and cornstarch (approx. 2 tsp.)
Corn Chowder (Crock-Pot)
Combine corn, potatoes, bell pepper, onion, carrot, and jalapenos. Add half & half, butter and spices. Cook for a few hours. Also makes a good Pot- Pie filling, needs a little flour to thicken.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Make broth from whole chicken. Let steep for several hours.
Remove bone and skin. Meat should fall off easily. Add celery, carrot and noodles. Season to taste. We enjoy salt, pepper, turmeric and garlic.