Sunday, June 19, 2011

Food Philosophy

I have an intense love affair with food. This is a love that is a bit obsessive, and often misunderstood. I was once wrapped up in an explanation of some recipe I just tried, or some food I’d just eaten at one of Houston’s fabulous restaurants, and the person said, “It’s just food.” Seriously?

Food as Art

Cooking and baking is a time to create. Food is the most beautiful and interesting art form because it encompasses all of our senses. Experience rolling out a sticky, pliable pizza dough, dicing and slicing vibrant vegetables, smelling garlic as it hits a warm pan of olive oil, the sizzle and pop of searing meat on high heat, smoke that emanates from the grill in summertime… And the best part is, it doesn’t stop there. When you’re done creating, you get to eat it! All the while enjoying the colors and composition of the plate, savoring the textures and flavors as they interact on your palate, and clinking your glass with good company.

With food, you literally get to have your cake, and eat it too. Yes, the food will not be there once you’ve devoured it, but the memories you made making and enjoying the food will.

Food as Community

Food nourishes our bodies; great food nourishes our soul. A good meal brings us back to a specific time, place, and sensation. My oldest and fondest memories involve food, such as my dad dubbing himself the "Grill Master", or my grandmother's house that always smelled like her famous oatmeal cookies. Every day requires three meals, and every important event revolves around a special food tradition. If food is such a profound ritual in our lives, shouldn’t we enjoy it? Respect it? Pay particular attention to not only how it affects us, but the people we love?

Today, food has the potential to make so much more of an impact than just an enjoyable meal. We are at a crisis in this country with food--from obesity, to chemicals, hormones, and the horrendous treatment of animals we eat (the list could go on and on). But now, we all have the opportunity to change that. I look around Houston, and I see numerous farmers’ markets with lush food grown from our Texas soil. More and more restaurants are opening that are committed to local, organic produce, with many chefs using the food they grow themselves.

How I Can Help

Have you ever eaten a piece of fruit so fresh you think to yourself, “Now that’s what it’s supposed to taste like!” It’s so simple. That’s what this blog is about. It’s not about how to rush as-fast-as-you-can to get dinner on the table or gimmicks. It’s about making food an enjoyable part of your life. It’s about getting a cup of fresh-roasted coffee at a farmer’s market with a friend, enjoying nature’s bounty, seeking out beauty in your backyard and kitchen. It’s about recipes that you will enjoy making, eating, and sharing with the people you love. It’s about community, and what you can do daily to make a difference.

My attempt is to share with you recipes that make sense for the season. Some of them may be very simple, while others more complex. Hopefully you can find what you are looking for here, whether you are a cook, a baker, or you’re just getting started in the kitchen. The one thing I promise you is this: the food will be fresh, seasonal, and delicious.

* Stay tuned, here’s what’s coming:

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry-Raspberry Muffins

Fiedler Family Salsa

Eggplant Parmagiana with Homemade Marinara

And much more!

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