I just finished Michael Pollan’s book Cooked (also part Netflix series) which delves into the wonderful magic of cooked food through the four basic elements: water, fire, air and earth.
I now have a new-found appreciation for the magic of making my own food and the reasons that we should all be a more active producer, rather than consumer of food. Food is more than just sustenance to keep us alive. It can be a social ritual. A way to eat healthier. One of my favourite challenges was this: we can eat any food we want (even junk), but make everything yourself.
It will cut down on the amount of junk you will eat because it’s hard to make chips, ice cream, cake etc all at once. In addition, the process will make it more likely that you are eating real food rather than processed junk (that may or may not be real food).
Pollan takes us through the laborious process of barbequing a whole pig, making bread, braising, pickling, making beer and more. I was fascinated by the steps of each and though I’d never regularly make any of those, I think it would be fun to try once. The satisfaction of creating something from beginning to end has a strange appeal to me. It’s like building a complicated lego set, takes concentration but you end up with something cool (or in this case tasty) in the end!
This book has made me enjoy cooking and look for ways to make it more than just a necessity. After all, there are limitless things create (and eat) out there.