Our family is in a pretty different position than most families; first, the kids are older, working and pretty self-sufficient with the inter-connectivity of their generation. The other key difference is that my wife and I are trained chefs, and I have amassed a lot of resources from cookbooks, equipment and supplies. We are pretty self-sufficient, and there is always something happening in the kitchen.
In trying to wrap my head around our profession’s future-as well as trying to navigate social distancing and keeping everyone happy around the house-I am like others trying to assess how I can actually help others. Volunteering, making face masks, collecting PPE etc. are great causes but ones we are not especially gifted at.
As I struggle with the fact that my 96- (soon to be 97-) year-old mother, a WWII veteran, is in a healthcare facility in England that is closed to visitors, she is now going through another “war” that I wished she would never have to see again. She is pretty tough, and I will always rely on a saying she said to me as a young teen. I was constantly opening the fridge and looking for food. She would yell at me and say, “If you are hungry, you will eat!”
At the time I generally ignored her, but since then, I have used that philosophy in my cooking. She lived through a time of rationing, limited supplies and the need to make do with what you had.
Cooking for a family everyday can be a challenge, even when things are normal. But today, panic buying, stay-at-home orders and the unknown are a few more ingredients you have to deal with. So, after some conversations with family members and working professionals with young kids who are used to ordering out and not cooking as much, I figured out how I can help.
Families all around us are challenged with what to cook and how to cook meals at home with what is available from the big-box food stores, especially when they are going to make one trip to one store, possibly only once a week. The food also needs to be exciting and provide an escape from working from home, e-learning and binge watching.
So, with a new and supplemental format, I will be providing you the insight, resources and knowledge I have to cook like a chef at home. We want you to have some fun using up what is not in everyone else’s shopping cart. This is not a blog about canned tuna, blue boxes of macaroni and cheese or frozen dinners. This will be about using what’s in your pantry and at the store to create some flavorful dishes. These same rules apply to professional kitchens trying to stay open and minimize purchases to use what they have.
We will create recipes and provide some insight on what’s on the cases and shelves of the store and in the deep recesses of your pantry. We work in our kitchen to provide you with your own on-call chef.
I started my business ten years ago without a clear vision of where I was going, but I had the inner desire to share what I know as an on-call executive chef. Now more than ever, I think it is the least I can do.
THE VIRTUAL RUBBER BAND DOORKNOB
Episode 1: What To Do With These Spices?