Cooking schools are Culinary Art Schools For A Reason!
Cooking is an art form. The art of cooking encompasses all our senses: taste, smell, touch, sight, even hearing in some cases.
To master this art, this cooking that we need to do every day, enhances family life, gives good nutrition to our minds and
bodies, stimulates the cook and builds self-esteem.
To master this art, this cooking that we need to do every day, enhances family life, gives good nutrition to our minds and bodies, stimulates the cook and builds self-esteem.
The Tools of the Art of Cooking
The tools you need for cooking are something to heat things in, something to heat things on, something to heat things in, and something to store things at necessary temperatures. You can go as fancy or as simple as you want and can afford.
Cavemen (or should I say cave people?) had campfires or ate their food raw. They gathered and stored food in baskets. They ate with their fingers off leaves. Sometimes they could store food in rivers or in snowbanks.
What they did learn over time was to add spices and herbs both for flavor and for health benefits. They decorated their caves with paintings, and presumably with baskets and other implements.
From the beginning of time, men and women have added both science and art to their cooking,. to stimulate their brains and bodies, and add zest and interest to their lives. It is part of human nature to make all parts of our lives into art forms, and cooking is among them.
Today, most of us cook on stoves and in ovens or microwaves or crock pots. Most of us have refrigerators. Most of us have pots and pans. I know of no one who does not have spoons, spatulas, knives, and forks.
What about basters and food chopping hardware? Going beyond what is absolutely needed in outfitting our kitchens seems pretty common in the civilized world. And it adds to the fun and to the creativity for many of us.
What is on your spice rack? From basil to turmeric, each spice adds a certain flavor that is used in certain kinds of cooking.
For my part, I cook basic American and a host of other heritages.
What do I mean by basic American cooking?
Barbecues and pulled pork, fried chicken and grits, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, roast beef and baked potato…mmm, mouth watering yet?
No, I am not a vegetarian. But two of my family members are, so I have learned to make tofu salads and vegetable lasagna with zucchini instead of pasta. Yes, some Paleo, but not all the time for my family.
I also cook Italian, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese Thai, Vietnamese, Caribbean, and North African. I like the flavors and textures and colors of different cultures.
I like the creativity of learning new ways of approaching food and mealtime. A key part of differentiating one culture's food from another are the spices and herbs used.
5 Basic Constants
There are a few constants when you practice the art of cooking:
- Browning meat so that the juices stay inside
- Boiling in liquid, whether steam or broth or tomatoes
- Sauteing in fat, whether coconut or avocado or olive oil, or butter, or lard
- Thickening with flour or cornstarch
- Baking or Broiling
To differentiate among them, and to keep from being boring or bored, besides herbs and spices, we add different flavored meats, different fruits and vegetables, and different seeds and nuts.
That way we get color and flavor and texture and aroma. It is the appearance and the smell that draw us to want to eat. Well, hunger pangs, too, I guess.
To draw our families to eat properly, to eat healthy foods, we really need to make them tasty and attractive. Being creative with cooking goes a long way toward that end.
Keeping Family Healthy and Happy
When we practice cooking as an art form, our families have better health and more happiness. Mealtime becomes a time of gathering and enjoying, of giving and receiving honor and of healthful nutritious foods to keep our bodies healthy.
A part of using art in cooking is to present food in such a way that the stuff that is good for you tastes, looks and smells good enough to eat. A payback is that your family is nourished in body, keeping temperaments level and family time high quality.
Another payback is your own self-esteem, both as you are proud of the meals you present as well as the accolades from your family and friends for the presentation you have produced.
Goodies Count Too
Is dessert something you look forward to? Perhaps you relegate yourself to a shiny red apple or a bunch of grapes fairly often.
As I grow older, I find it is rare that I will indulge in a gooey, carmelly, chocolaty concoction, except SOMETIMES! The metabolism will not allow it, without packing on pounds.
But I know when my kids were young, I always kept fresh-baked bread and cookies and goodies in the house. It was a part of parenting for me to make our home a place for gathering for them with their friends.
That way I got to know their friends, and got to enjoy the process of my kids learning and growing. I kept the larders looking, smelling and tasting appetizing – and using the art of cooking worked well.
Do you know something? In raising four kids, things could get downright boring from time to time.
I mean, I really do not think my purpose on earth is to clean the toilets!
I found when I made keeping my home an art, and cooking three meals a day for six an art, and learning to bake and to can and to make jams and marmalade an art, I lifted the potential boredom and replaced it with the stimulation of learning new things, and new ways to present them.
I still find cooking just for the two of us or for a few friends can be an art form that keeps my mind working, opens me up to new possibilities, and builds my self-esteem. What is your experience?