Some of the principles guiding the cooking in my kitchen:
Necessity… Eat to live, don’t live to eat.
Sometimes it feels like if my thoughts are not on one meal, they are on the next. This is in part because I want to make something good, but I’m still learning how to make that happen. I am hoping that as I get more practiced, the process will become more natural. I used to labor over finding and making something fabulous to post on my blog, but hopefully this blog with feature mostly spontaneously-made good stuff. I may also occasionally tell some stories about my fails, in order to explore exactly what went wrong, but I don’t plan on posting any failed recipes.
Culture… You are what you eat.
I am from the Midwest, with immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Luxembourg as my ancestors. My childhood family’s food culture has its roots in meat and potatoes, but also in the modern American conveniences of Rice-a-Roni and Hamburger Helper.
My husband is from Ghana. He learned how to cook over a coal pot at his mother’s feet. His childhood staples included rice, plantain, yam, and a variety of spicy soups often featuring chicken, goat, fish, and guinea fowl, as well as local dishes such as banku (dumplings made out of cooked, fermented corn flour), fufu (a dumpling of pounded yam and cassava), and the Ghanaian ketchup, “shito” (a spicy sambal made with dried fish).
Our kitchen brings together these cultural influences, and also cannot helped but be influenced by the diversity of food cultures found in the New York metropolitan area. I want to explore how all of these traditions can be integrated.
Health… Eat well to feel well.
When I didn’t know how to cook and the options were limited to what was in front of me, I quickly learned how to ignore the red flags wildly waving me away from the foods my body knew were not good for me. I am now learning how to recognize my body’s signs, and this has really changed my eating habits.
I am seeking out healthier ingredients and getting a feel for what nutrients my body is actually craving, instead of just stuffing it with carbohydrates and sugar. I want to explore the benefits of making healthy substitutions, such as incorporating different flours, as well as foods I have never tried. For example, I was once ignorant about the existence of kale, and now can’t imagine a world of vegetables without it.
Environment…Eat from the earth.
I am very interested in the local food movement. I am trying my hand at gardening and learning about what is available seasonally as I seek a balance between eating local and staying on budget. I also want to improve on reducing my kitchen waste, and I am very interested in getting a compost bin started.
For more about why I started this blog, check out the About page.
For more about me, check out The Cooking Psychologist.
For more about various food psychology topics, see The Kitchen Unconscious.
For a recipe archieve, view The Conscious Cookbook.