My Journey Towards Relational Cooking and Slow Food
By: Robby Richardson, Store Manager
My journey begins:
I think I have always enjoyed cooking in one form or another for the time that it grants me with others. I grew up loving to help my father cook on the grill. I’m not sure I was always a help, but I enjoyed the time with him and the delicious food that resulted.
Robby - grilling at age 3
One of the things that spurred on my interest in food preparation was in high school, I won the Betty Crocker award my senior year (more correctly known as the General Mills Search for Family Leadership). However, it was actually a multiple choice test, not anything to do with cooking. However, this early success spurred me to develop a couple of different “go to” dishes that I could prepare for friends and family. People who know me are not surprised to learn that most of those dishes fell into the dessert category.
My passion continues:
Throughout the years, I have enjoyed cooking for the time it affords me with others. In the years that my wife and I have been “empty nesters”, I have gradually taken on a larger share of meal preparation responsibilities. In doing so, I have learned a number of different techniques and recipes. I have also expanded beyond the grilling and dessert categories, although I have to admit that these are still my favorites. But in the last couple of years, I’ve begun to learn that the most important aspects of cooking often go beyond ingredients and recipes.
Robby - grilling with friends
One of the things I now find fulfilling is cooking with my wife. We are both usually at home on Fridays, and we have started the habit of working together on Friday dinner. Yes, it’s fun to try new recipes and new tastes, but what I have really enjoyed is the time with her. There is a ritual and a rhythm that comes with cooking together and then sitting down to that meal … and I am coming to really appreciate that time.
A number of years ago, there was a movement that sprang up in different parts of the world that was called the Slow Food Movement. It is basically an effort to counteract the impact of fast food on our lives and on our culture. I love the description that is part of their purpose statement on their website: to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.
So I have challenged myself to learn to cook “locally and seasonally”. I have begun frequenting our local farmers market and ask a lot of questions. This past summer, my wife and I had a CSA share (Community Supported Agriculture) with a local farm. I learning a lot more about local and regional food cultures. AND I am learning to slow down and enjoy the process of food preparation as well as the result.
My present focus:
One of our goals here at Kneaded Kitchens is to “build a community around cooking". We’d love to join YOU in your journey! Whether that means you join our recipe email list, pick up a few of our favorite kitchen tools, or stop in to the store to talk about your favorite kitchen memories, we look forward to journeying with you!
Robby - Making breakfast crepes with grandson