New Year, New Mood, New Musings on Food

The turn of the calendar can act like a mental reset button for us, closing the chapters of last year, both good and bad, to start a new story or continue the current story in a fresh new way. One of my favorite things to do as the old year winds down and the new one begins, is to look at what happened in food and culinary world. Food, nutrition and agriculture topics are some of the best, in my opinion, because food offers the experience of caring for ourselves, treating ourselves, and experiencing other cultures while sharing time either alone in reflection or with those we care about. I think that one of the best things we can do for ourselves is allow the joy and experience of meal and snack time to overshadow the angst of the day to day.

Here are some of my recent favorite food-related quotes to help inspire thinking differently about food and cooking this year to help find you way to your happy place when it comes to planning, shopping, preparing, and eating.

“Cookery is as old as the world, but it must also remain, always, as modern as fashion.”        –Phileas Gilbert

This quote makes me smile because although there appears to be new found interest in cooking, it’s really been around for quite a long time.  Somehow as people, we lost our way around the kitchen. Meal kits, food as entertainment through cooking shows, and social media are helping people find their way back to the kitchen. Have fun on this journey, learn from reputable sources, and reconnect with the history and culture of food for yourself and other cultures. Embrace new dishes and messing up your kitchen. Set up your kitchen with the tools you need to succeed, from pots and pans to spoons to stir, to nice plates for your meal and great storage dishes for leftovers. You don’t have to spend a lot to make your kitchen work efficiently and easily for you.

“In general, mankind, since the improvement in cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires.” — Benjamin Franklin

When something is delicious, it’s easy to overdo portion sizes, even with the best intentions. What may be helpful to know is that you can get the most enjoyment out of the first few bites, and a bigger portion can actually be less enjoyable. Savor each bite, eat those first few fork or spoonfuls slowly, and start out with a smaller serving than you usually do. If you still want more, you can take another helping. It’ll still be there.

“Some of the waiters discuss the menu with you as if they were sharing wisdom picked up in the Himalayas.” — Seymour Britchky

We love when someone makes us a birthday cake or brings us a casserole when we are sick or grieving over the loss of a loved one. We toast the New Year, go out to eat to celebrate a new job, and so many other moments that food is part of.

Food is first essential to our survival – without it, we would die. It’s also very much a part of our culture, identity, celebrations, moments of grief, and even in our day to day bump and grind. When we think about all the things food means to us, it’s good to take a moment and enjoy the conversation and reflect upon our food and those who grow it for us.

My wish for you from this point forward is to take a fresh look at your interaction with food and choices at every eating occasion. Question those who’d ask you to be afraid of food. Find your way to trusted experts who have your best interest in mind and give you information to make your own choices, not demand that you follow theirs. Be happy, choose wisely, and learn more about the meaning of food beyond the nutrition it provides.