Friday, November 10, 2006

A mom encouraging you to play with food!

I am starting this blog because I see that, in general, people are afraid of food. Food is seen as bad- it makes you fat, it has carcinogens, it makes you break out, it clogs your arteries, it gives you gas. Good food is expensive, it is hard to cook, cooking causes anxiety, recipes are rigid, it takes too much time... All of these things are just not true!

This blog is dedicated to encouraging the young, the old, the experienced cook and the novice, even those who rely on Pizza Hut and Hamburger Helper to make it through the week to get out of their comfort zone. Don't be afraid. Stretch your culinary muscles, even if you don't think you have any. Playing with food is fun and it should be fun for not only those who eat it but those who cook it.

Don't believe me? Close your eyes. Think back. So many of your best memories are associated with food. The smell of a Thanksgiving turkey, your first candy apple, the taste of a bowl of chili on a winter evening. For me, it is the memory of my grandmother's applesauce cake baking in big heavy cast-iron bundt pans. Food is a way to make memories, to bond with friends or people you want to be friends with. As a nation we have gotten away from the family table and the fun that it brings. Cooking a meal is a chore, not an adventure. It's time for a change, and that is what I hope to do.

I will start by pointing to two of the most useful places for anyone who wants to explore food, Epicurious at http://www.epicurious.com/ , and Food Network at http://www.foodnetwork.com/. Epicurious has an incredible searchable recipe file that you can search by name, by ingredient, or other keywords. Recipes there are rated by forks with 1 the lowest and 4 the highest. But the best thing for cooks that want to have fun with food is that there is a place at the end of each recipe for comments. You can hear from people who have made the dish if it is good, if it is difficult and time-consuming, and even what substitutions can be made. I use this site all the time. Can't think of another thing to do with chicken? Search by ingredient and you will get a wealth of ideas to choose from. It is a great resource for novice or experienced cooks. Food Network also has a recipe index searchable by the cooking show, or by title or ingredient. These recipes are also rated, but there are no comments and reviews.
Check them out and you will take the first step to really having fun with food.

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