I have a
special connection with my bro-in-law, Brian. Not just because
we have the same initials and he makes me laugh. Brian is a
chef, a really good chef. He and wife Lisa graduated from the
former California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. And heís
passionate about getting families and kids back into the
Brian likes to "rant" (his words) about this.
"Whatís the story on American lack of cooking anyway!?
Itís not for want of equipment, tools and books, thatís
for sure. Why donít we cook as much as we used toÖ?"
you tell us, Brian?
for the last 40 years have cut the apron strings to their home
kitchens in increasing numbers," he says, calling it
"a crime of epic cultural consequence. Now we have
millions of families that genuinely donít know how to
prepare a balanced and nutritious meal," he laments.
do we begin?
with fundamentals," he advises. Here are a few of his
a digital meat thermometer and learn to use it: on-off,
Celsius-Fahrenheit, battery replacement. This will take the
guess work out of Ďdoneness."
your children grocery shopping and task them with selecting 2
fresh vegetables and 2 fresh fruits. Let them choose a dessert
which will be served one night per week as a special treat.
Period. They now have skin in the game.
to have three distinct components to the meal: carbs, veggies
and protein. They can be integrated in a pasta, soup or baked
dish. The "Big 3" can be combined on a skewer,
rolled in a tortilla or artfully arranged in concentric
circles on a dinner plate. Donít flinch on this!
up these words in the dictionary: sautť, roast, braise and
steam. Take notes on when to apply these techniques. It will
prevent you from ruining your meals.
Surprise your family and cut up a fruit tray to be served at a
meal. Itís colorful, delicious, healthy and sparks
conversation at the table. Left-overs can be recycled for
Gather at the table each night for dinner, together. Show
children how to properly use their utensils. They didnít
arrive pre-programmed; therefore, we are tasked with uploading
their software. Set a timer for your meal at 30 minutes. No
one may leave the table until then. All screens, phones, and
TV are off. Music may play quietly in the background.
your kitchen space your Happy Place. Put on some music, pour a
glass of wine or a Northwest IPA (Brian lives in Portland).
Set up your station with cutting board and favorite knife,
grab a bib apron that you like, and start from an immaculately
clean work area. Invite family members to assist in some small
task. Glance out the kitchen window and take a breath. Think
to yourself, "Iím about to have a great time because Iím
prepared, and they will love what I cook because I know what Iím
more? Check out Brianís blog at chefbq.blogspot.com.