I liked a lot of what Shauna Niequist said in her article for Relevant Magazine – an article entitled “11 Things to Know at 25(ish)”. I’ll include one of her tips below for a couple of reasons:
1. Because it captured my imagination today after I tried preparing a new dish on the old stove top.
2. Because it reminded me of the generous hospitality of several friends who do just the sort of thing the article encourages.
Now as a guy finally learning some things about culinary artistry, it’s true I’m pretty much in day one of cooking kindergarten…but I will be good enough for Food Network someday!
Feed Yourself and the People You Love
If you can master these things, you’re off to a really great start: eggs, soup, a fantastic sandwich or burger, guacamole and some killer cookies. A few hints: The secret to great eggs is really low heat, and the trick to guacamole is lime juice—loads of it. Almost every soup starts the same way: onion, garlic, carrot, celery, stock.
People used to know how to make this list and more, but for all sorts of reasons, sometime in the last 60 or so years, convenience became more important than cooking and people began resorting to fake food (ever had GU?), fast food and frozen food. I literally had to call my mom from my first apartment because I didn’t know if you baked a potato for five minutes or two hours.
The act of feeding oneself is a skill every person can benefit from, and some of the most sacred moments in life happen when we gather around the table. The time we spend around the table, sharing meals and sharing stories, is significant, transforming time.
Learn to cook. Invite new and old friends to dinner. Practice hospitality and generosity. No one cares if they have to sit on lawn furniture, bring their own forks or drink out of a Mayor McCheese glass from 1982. What people want is to be heard and fed and nourished, physically and otherwise—to stop for just a little bit and have someone look them in the eye and listen to their stories and dreams. Make time for the table, and you’ll find it to be more than worth it every time.
For the rest of the article, go here.