One thing I’ll never forget is the way my grandmother approaches food. All women in my family share the love of cooking and baking but grandmother’s relationship with food is probably the most passionate one. She’s the best cook I know and I don’t remember her ever doubting herself in the kitchen. She doesn’t use any out-of-this-world ingredients or extremely fancy or expensive products. Her secret has always been in the way she handles food and I’ve been extremely lucky to inherit at least fraction of grandmother’s culinary artistry.
I love the freshest foods without any preservatives and enhancements of any kind. The shorter the journey between the meals’ origin and my kitchen, the better. My food has to be colorful, fragrant and full of flavors. Cooking should be a love affair with a pinch of mystery, a spoonful of passion, and a big cup of joy.
Today, we visited a local farmers’ market. I couldn’t help but to feel a sudden sense of happiness spreading all over my body. The fragrant tomatoes and onions, the bright purple eggplants, the juicy citruses, and two baby goats sleeping in the sun. It was all such a beautiful and cheerful sight. It was impossible NOT to smile.
Grandmother taught me the most important thing – to be happy about the simple things in life. Food is one of them. When I hold a bouquet of fresh herbs, I close my eyes and inhale the smell. I think of grandmother and my heart smiles. Even the simplest meals can be decorated by fresh veggies, fruits, and presented with the grace of a royal feast. Most importantly, food needs to be served with care and love. It has the power to bring people together and to make peace. It is the language everyone understands. Food works as universal glue, medicine, and even aphrodisiac.
When you get a chance, visit a local market or even your local grocery store and observe. Absorb the colors, the smells, touch the textures of fruits and vegetables, and buy something you haven’t tried before. Talk to the baker or the butcher and ask for their advice or recommendation. You will discover how excited you will be about the food you are bringing home and preparing for your friends, family, loved ones, and of course yourself. There is joy in simple things, go find them!