Saturday, August 22, 2009


I'd been reading Michael Pollan's writings for a couple of years before this past spring, when I finally sat down and read The Omnivore's Dilemma and An Eater's Manifesto. At that point, I officially made the conversion and now consider myself to be a Pollan disciple.

When Pollan talks about the process of putting a meal on the table, I recognize my own point of view. I like to garden and cook because I like to eat good food. For me, these things are linked to one another. The process of collecting fresh ingredients, making them into a meal, and setting them on the table for myself, my family and my friends is enormously fulfilling for me.

Most nights, my son and I sit down together and we eat a homemade supper. In fact, even when JT is away, I cook. I'm not heating ingredients that come pre-processed, I am making actual food. It happens only because I plan for it to occur. I make a list of the foods I want to cook and then I head to the market to buy the necessary ingredients. In a recent New York Times article, Pollan discusses why this is so important: actual cooking requires actual ingredients, not the processed foods that fill our grocery store shelves. And the result is healthier in a myriad of ways. Naturally, I concur. As I was reading his essay, I was struck again by the satisfaction I derive from the process of cooking. The orderly assembly of quality ingredients into a tasty meal is the best way I know to relax at the end of the day.

After being out of town for four weeks this summer, I was eager to get back into the kitchen. I made plans to cook meals that require a good deal of chopping, because that's my favorite kitchen activity. And last Sunday I lured some friends to the table to enjoy the fruits (literally, as it turns out) of my return to the kitchen.

The Menu:
- fresh cherries
- Mediterranean chop salad
- Summer tomato pie
- Spicy corn fritters
- garlic toasts

And for dessert, we had a slice of grasshopper pie. The satisfaction of planning and cooking a meal feels timeless to me. Maybe that's why I enjoy my garden and kitchen so much.


Nichole said...

Could I get the corn fritter recipe?

What Now? said...

Looks like a fabulous spread, SM. As a notorious heater of foods prepared by others, I felt convicted by Pollans' article this summer and have actually started doing some cooking, but they are only baby steps.