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Tuesday's Tip: Relax and Have Fun!

Cooking is fun. 

From a young age, my mom instilled this idea in my head.  From keeping me on the counter with her while cooking, to allowing me to explore the kitchen as I grew, I was raised with a love of cooking.  I thank my mom for helping me learn how to cook and for countless other family members, friends and teachers who formed my love of creating in the kitchen.

I often wonder why so many people view cooking as a chore.  We all have to eat, why not enjoy the process of creating your meal?  Then I saw this quote from Chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse restaurant and it spoke to me:

"We've been told by the fast food industry that cooking is drudgery, but actually it is a relaxing, pleasurable activity that not only saves money but promotes good health.  Get the whole family involved.  Kids like to be engaged and have responsibilities."

I think not only the fast food industry but also the pre-packaged and processed foods industries have all created this image that cooking is a real drag, something we must do out of utlity, not out of joy.

So here's my tip for this Tuesday:  when preparing a meal or recipe, relax and have fun! 

Please don't view cooking as drudgery every time you make a meal, perhaps view it as a means to create an opportunity to gather.

Yes, food feeds us, but when you gather for a meal, whether at a table for two, four or many, what happens over the meal is anything but utilitarian.  I've seen families eat in Italy and linger for hours, and I've seen my own family of four take 30 minutes for a meal.  Eating is necessary, but it also transcends nutrition...it is an act of community, and act of gathering.

Lastly, remember if you are cooking, you can guarantee you'll like what is on the menu!

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