A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fat, Cooking, Lamb, and the Big Why

There's nothing wrong with eating animal fat, says this Salon interview with Jennifer McLagan.

I totally called it. (Okay, it wasn't a revolutionary observation, but still.)

The best thing in the interview is this:
Cooking should be a skill everybody masters. I am not talking about professional cooking. Everyone should know how to make something to eat. We all have to eat, and cooking dinner should be a simple, everyday act. It should be valued, not seen as a chore or a competitive sport. It is a rich, sensual experience that we can all take part in and enjoy.
For me, that's what this site is about. It's about dinner, every night, night after night. It's about valuing food and thinking carefully about food with love and respect. Not obsession, not drama, not theatrics. We do those things, of course -- we get fancy, we show off. But we come back to cooking as a small daily attention.

There are cooking sites and shows and cookbooks out there with beautiful pictures and obsessive deconstruction of how to stuff a goose or make the perfect pancake. I read them. I like them.
But what we mostly do here is show each other what we made for dinner.

So in the spirit of the Salon interview, here's some kind of a lamb shank stew I made a few months ago and promptly forgot the ingredients of.

Full-fat yogurt with mint and cucumber...lamb shanks full of weird lamb fat and connective tissue that cook down to a silky rich stew...cinnamon, ginger, onions, eggplant, potatoes? That's about right. I love that huge sheep bone sticking out of the bowl.

1 comment:

Kris said...

I love that quote, too--there's a certain reverence for the daily process of preparing a meal that's missing in our culture.