I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how cooking and sharing a table together is a lost practice. How home cooking is looked at by so many people as a chore. How we bring phones to the table, the TV, the computer, and are only partially engaged in our food and/or company because of it. How home cooking sits at the bottom of the priority list. How it’s a source of stress and resentment for many. How it’s something some people believe they have to get perfect or they don’t do it at all.
How many times have I heard “I can’t cook!”??
Too many to count.
I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it. 😉 “I can’t cook” is a belief, not a fact. If we have the support and tools to make it happen, it can done. It can be enjoyed. And it can be a skill we build upon for years to come. Cooking for ourselves is control over our health and our happiness. It’s power.
Social media has brought many good things, and a few not-so good things into our lives. It’s SO noisy out there, no? Folks are more confused than ever about WHAT to eat. We start on a good path, only lose our mojo, then we beat ourselves up. Repeat.
I hear and read all the time how Instagram makes people feel like they aren’t good enough, or that they’re falling behind (it’s made me feel that way, too).
I read in an article recently that stress and loneliness are at an all-time high even though we have hundreds or thousands of followers and access to more activities and info than ever before.
We can connect with like-minded people around the world anytime—social media is great for that. We have exposure to those we do and don’t agree with, and myriad opportunities to listen, share, and connect.
What’s not-so good? Simply, healthy eating has become riddled with dogma. Conflicting theories. It has become a competition for the prettiest photo and the most likes and who’s the coolest, fittest, most dedicated. You read one approach from an expert and in a matter of minutes you can find the opposite theory from someone just as experienced.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired.
No matter if you eat a rack of ribs with your meal, swirl butter in your coffee, or you avoid all animal products (even honey), more whole foods are something we can all share and enjoy. This is a common denominator that can be a solid foundation under our collective feet. Agreed?
I have an idea.
It’s a simple starting point that will help us take care of ourselves and support each other. It’s a way we can connect more, and pretend we’re together enjoying one simple, tasty meal.
I’m starting a cooking club.
It doesn’t cost anything and it’s easy—you only have to agree to participate. No spectators! Ha. I’ll make an entire menu with simple, can-do recipes and send it your way once a month. You just agree to:
• Be part of a small, simple movement to cook again. To share a “table” again—no matter how virtual it is—with an awesome tribe of home cooks.
• Host a meal for yourself or for others and cook the monthly menu. You can make it all yourself or make it together—don’t worry, these will be simple menus. Or you can share recipes from the menu with your guests in advance and go potluck style. Be creative.
• Virtually share a meal together by tagging @YumUniverse, #goodfood, #yumuniverse when you host your meal that month. Share your creations, your table, introduce yourself and/or your guests to your table mates, post a pic of your dog. Have fun. It’s a ginormous feast with friends.
You can join us once a month, or once a quarter, or when you can—whatever works.
OK. I want to see you “next to me” at our collective feast. I want to see smiles, happy faces, perfectly imperfect photos of food, and know that we tried something together each month. Use the tags to ask any questions, too! I’ll be there to help troubleshoot and support.
That’s the entire point.
Good food isn’t about labels. It’s not about judgement. It’s not about dogma, “likes,” deprivation, or perfectly-plated dishes. It’s about taking care of ourselves, and others. It’s about face-to-face time. Creativity, confidence, comfort, and change. It’s about watching someone across the table from you smile with each bite. It’s about caring. Connecting. Listening and sharing and priorities. Making a mess and keeping it real. It’s about good food. And it’s about time.
Our first meal “date” is January 2018, and it will be a winter brunch.
Here’s what’s on the menu:
Winter Spice Granola
The Easiest Vanilla Almond Milk
Apple & Candied Pecan Salad
Grab a seat at the table! Hope I get to sit next to you…
Join the Good Food Cooking Club here.
And don’t be shy, share any menu ideas/needs/wants in a comment below.