Food is the center soul in most of our lives. We grow up with it, form memories with it, and tend to pass “it” on to the next generation. Yea, it’s a huge part of our existence, which is why, I want to be sure I do my best to preserve what I do know about food and recipes, so that when my children grow, they will hopefully understand the value of food. It’s still impressive to me what can be made from a few bits of veg and a grain. The inspiration which pulls us to travel the world to the food hot-spots (Europe, Asia, etc) provoke our food desires more. The end result is more or less the same in between continents. With the exception of spices, and seasons weighing big on what forms a ‘traditional food of the region’ you begin to recognize that natively, we really do all eat the same. I use the word “natively” because corporate food, fast food and cheap processed food has been working over a half century to change our ancestral roots with food. Somehow, the goal from corporate food companies was to form a huge divide between the source of food (where/how we grow combined with season) and it’s user, us. It’s not unusual today to find our children totally detached from food. Do kids really think vegetables come in a plastic wrapper? Do they really think cakes come from a box? Or that chocolate is really milky soft brown or even white! Yes, I’m afraid they do, and that’s because we believe that too.
When we lived on our organic farm in California, our farmer would host “you-pick’s” where you would have mostly city dwellers (san francisco, silicon valley, palo alto, etc..) flocking to the farm fields with kids in tow. They would arrive early with all their sun gear on, and leave well into the late afternoon. The kids were calmer, the parents were calmer, and the end result was the kids received a huge lesson on where our food comes from.
If there’s one thing I can say that I’ve taken away as a lesson from this hectic world is that you should find inspiration. Find a person, a place, a thing that draws huge inspiration to your lives. In the early 2000’s I was introduced to the name, Alice Waters, from our wonderful farmer. He apparently grew for her and her restaurants, has met her, and was also inspired by her. If you don’t know Alice Waters, she is huge in the food world, has a wonderful restaurant in the city, and most importantly, she introduced vegetable gardening to inner-city schools by launching the school garden projects. I happened to have the opportunity to reactivate a school garden program that had been left to the weeds. The infrastructure at our children’s school was luckily in place. All was needed was guidance and planning. Individuals who go out of their way to be anything but normal, who stick to what they know to be the best (natural) and who thumb their nose to what corporations have spent so dearly on us to buy into. If this site can do one thing for you, I hope it is to encourage you to be your own and best individual that you can. Our kids look to us for the best nutrition, love and safety, yet we’ve so comfortably handed over those roles to the corporations that are dying to run us. Get out and start your own garden, become a part of a gardening co-op, get in to composting or starting a worm farm, or erecting an insect house. Do whatever it takes to make sure your kids hands get dirty from being in the garden, to preparing or helping to prepare a family meal, and oh yea, fight with all your might to re-establish the forgotton “family meal” it’s for sure our means to an end!.
In conclusion, what Julia Child began in the mid 1900’s, we can for sure continue. I’ve watched her old food shows from PBS, and it’s just amazing how apologetic she is when she’s cooking vegetables. I know she was transitioning from her French years, to trying to appeal to the mid-century American households, but it seems vegetables were a stigma. They were either cooked to the point of baby food, or they were heavily sauced so that the actual taste of the vegetable was hidden. I can say that we’ve come a long way in 70 years. Julia was the pioneer for home, fresh cooked meals for many American households. Now, with so many celebrity chef’s, we have our fare share and fare amounts of inspiration to be found. But, just remember-our vegetables are simple, they grow in rather meager settings, and require only a little bit of work from beginning to end. But, there’s nothing more rewarding than sitting down to a meal not only prepared by yourself or your family, but grown by yourself.