I first learned to cook by hanging out in the kitchen when I was younger, when my mom and other women in my family let me in on their secrets to making really amazing food. Everytime they shared their techniques there was a certain spark in their eyes, as they showed me how they put their unique little magic into food. And most of them didn’t use measuring utensils. They used well trained eyes, pinches, and intuition. When I first started cooking on my own I did the same- using pinches, handfuls, and rules of thumb. And its how I found it easiest to share recipes too.
Recently I began a new practice in my culinary adventures. I have been keeping a notebook, measuring spoons, and ramakins on the counter as I revisit my old recipes. It’s been a very different experience for me. Dare I say a practice of restraint, method and deliberation. Immediately, I found the clean up was exponentially easier and more efficient. And most importantly I was able to share recipes with my clients in a more empirical, articulate way.
It’s still important I think to keep that sense of playfulness and wonderment in the kitchen, to explore ingredients and and allow dishes to be an expression of your culinary style. This month’s recipe- a robust roasted tomato sauce – serves as the perfect opportunity to explore that balance between method and play. The creation of your homemade sauce is a romantic way to spend a cold windy night with a significant other or even a fun activity for groups of friends, as each batch will reflect the personalities of the chefs and unique little magic that you put into it.
Happy Valentine’s Day and much love,