I love to cook.
I could give you all the “impressive” reasons for this fact about myself:
- I learned at the side of two remarkable cooks, my mother and grandmother
- I am creative
- I am adventurous
Or, I could tell you the other truth about myself. I love to eat good food.
What’s the secret of Italy’s food? Why does the food in Tuscany, like this Margherita pizza, seem to taste better than it does at home?
The honest truth? The answer is not confined to Italy.
ENJOY A CONVERSATION
While at home writing, I’m often alone for lunch without anyone for company but dogs, and they’re are not great conversationalists. A favorite memory of mine growing up was the dinner table conversation, a tradition my husband and I carried to our own family, with everyone taking a turn to share the highlights of their day.
I challenge you to enjoy a conversation with a friend, family member, coworker, or neighbor over a meal. Even if the food tastes terrible, I promise that you’ll enjoy it more when you laugh about it with someone else!
USE YOUR SENSES
An important factor in appreciating a meal is to use your senses: savor the smell, the sight, the flavors, and the textures of the food. Try it, you’ll see!
LET THE FOOD BE THE STAR
In Italy, the tradition is that food is prepared with the ingredients that are fresh today. When fruits and vegetables are at their peak of ripeness, the flavors burst on your tongue and make everything else taste better.
After you’ve sampled a truly vine-ripened tomato, you’re spoiled!
In our busy world, we plan and shop ahead, so buying produce at the peak of ripeness is often not practical. So what can one do?
Simple food that is simply, but lovingly, prepared.
It works for me.
SLOW IT DOWN
If you’re like me, you relax and slow down the hectic pace of life while on vacation, whether you are vacationing at home, nearby, or in a foreign country.
Isn’t it sad that we don’t do this more often at home?
Even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, slowly shared over conversation with someone you care about, can be a feast!