Wednesday, January 11, 2012

on slow cooking

Earlier this week, I had an all-day cooking event! There were pots bubbling away, doughs kneaded by hand, breads baked in the oven, and both sides of the sink overrun with dishes.


Even though, for the most part, I keep my own schedule these days (or, rather the baby and animals keep me on schedule!), I often have the hurry-up-and-get-things-done-already feeling. I'm trying to make a more deliberate effort to slow things down. (Hard for me? Difficult? Challenging? Yes. But oh, so worthwhile). So, I gave myself the luxury of a full day to prepare a slow, completely from scratch dinner start to finish. I worked around the baby's needs, allowing myself the time to leisurely go about my sole purpose.


We live in an age where convenience has taken priority, and how fast you can do something seems to trump how well you can do it. There exists an arbitrary timeline of "5 minute breads" and "30 minute meals" that, for me anyway, just adds to the feeling of rush, rush, rush. I'm not saying busy families can or should spend all day, every day in the kitchen preparing meals, but I think there's really something to be said for taking our time when we can.


I found doing this gave me a much deeper appreciation for my food and most especially gave me a sense for properly honoring the animals and plants the food came from.


I wish for us all the gift of time for S...L...O...W cooking.

20 comments:

  1. Jaime,
    your blog is amazing, your photography incredible and your baby (and your animals!) couldn't be any cuter!

    i left you a comment about your comment on my blog, too. :)
    rachel

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  2. How lovely, Jaime.... what a blessing to slow down and enjoy the processes that make up our days.

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  3. I love afternoons that I dedicate to cooking and have no other plans (or rather I ignore my other obligations!) so fun....one thing I have never made is homemade pasta. It looks really cool and fun to make....is it hard? We eat a lot of it and I don't know why I haven't..even though I don't have a fancy pasta maker, I could still cut it by hand, right? Enjoy your wonderful meals to come! So glad to have discovered your blog!

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  4. Your words are so lovely, Jamie. Thanks for the post as we can all use a gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy the whole process of this life and all it entails.

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  5. Love that you made your own spaghetti--I so want to do that! Have you tried making whole grain spaghetti? I wondered how that would come out, homemade.

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  6. Perfect, I love it and so true. A friend recently asked me about why I do this, take time to make meals from scratch and why I think the rest of the world doesn't do it. She wanted to know what motivates people to take the time for this instead of more watching TV, shopping or whatever. How do we convince others that the joy and peace is in slowing down, not in cutting corners? Love your photos as always.

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  7. You're so right! I love baking days and making my meals from scratch with seasonal food. In the process I'm doing my best to teach my children how we grow our own food and prepare it. Slow food is the best!

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  8. What a great post and a great reminder to slow down and enjoy the process!

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  9. You are so right Jaime...i often spend too long thinking about the processes and how i can speed them up rather than just spending the time doing! Thanks for the reminder to slow.....

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  10. @Only in Louisiana It really is fun to make and truly not difficult at all! You can absolutely cut it by hand, no fanciness required ;) The pasta machine does help, though, with making a thin dough, which I find difficult to achieve with just a rolling pin. Hmmm...perhaps a pasta making post is in order...

    @mountain girl Mia, that's a great idea! I haven't tried, but I bet it would work wonderfully since fresh pasta is so soft.

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  11. I often think I should try to schedule cooking days like this. They make so much sense. I should really consider getting a pasta machine. Or at least moving it higher up the list. :) A pasta making post would be great.

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  12. Along with a pasta making post, could you please also add a meatball making post to the list? Thanks! Yesterday's photo of the huge bowl of pasta is still stuck in my head!!

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  13. I love slow food as well, and I love that I know exactly what my family is eating. I tend to go for the quick homemade meals with four kids and homework, a husband working late etc. But maybe I could fit in a slower meal on weekends. I remember my grandmother making Sunday dinner - do people do that anymore?

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  14. Yum! I've never made pasta. I have a gluten-intolerant child...wonder if I could figure out how to make fresh rice pasta? I agree re. 30 min. meals...they add stress because inevitably, the 30 minutes you set aside get interrupted over and over till dinner ends up way later than if you'd just made a 2 hour one! Ha. I like making dinner in the morning so that the end of the day is peaceful, the kitchen is tidy when my husband gets home, and I can love my kids up during what we call "Witching Hour"...instead of frantically telling them that "I NEED TO MAKE DINNER!!"...lovely photos, great post!

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    1. Exactly! And I really like your idea about making dinner early in the day--I wondered how other moms handled the witching hour. Thanks for that "a-ha!" light you just activated in my brain :)

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  15. I love days of slow cooking, spending as much time as I can in the kitchen. The food always tastes so much better and you are right, such an appreciation for the food you eat when you take time to properly prepare it.

    Hope the meal was delish :)

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  16. Slow food is definitely the best. Haven't been able to do so much lately as Kian is very fond of koala-hugging my leg. But I'm going to have two days a week to myself very soon so I'm aiming to start something early on in the day and enjoy the process, instead of rushing it. Nothing I hate more than cooking in a messy kitchen with two children crying for attention. Beautiful pics Jaime.

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  17. This is a beautiful post. Thanks for the reminder to slow down...I needed that ;-)

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  18. Jaime, I so appreciate your perspective. I have tried to see cooking not so much as a task to get done with as a process. Sometimes, the process must be quick, in response to the day's demands, but other times, it is so nice to have the smell of food cooking away while the children are around doing homework or reading or playing on the floor or even (gasp!) watching tv. It is a comfort.

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