Food is a central part of every culture, and I think that is because of the impact a meal can have on our relationships. Historically speaking, dinner time has been crucial to the formation of strong families, and I think it’s all about nourishment.
We all need each other to be happy. We are social creatures and that’s just the way it is. It makes me sad when people try to make themselves an island, or they close themselves off out of fear or anger. No matter how tough someone tries to be, our emotions are a big part of who we are and nourishing that is just as important as the food we eat that keeps us alive.
September 25th is National Cooking Day. I’ve partnered with PotsandPans.com to create a simple recipe, meant to feed a family or group of friends, and encourage people to sit down to dinner, in their homes, with loved ones on that day.
When they asked me to be part of it, I was really excited because this is something that is very dear to me. I didn’t grow up in a rich family, but the greatest privilege I had, and probably the biggest reason for who I am today, is that my parents gathered me and all 7 of my siblings (I am the youngest of 8 kids) at the dinner table every night and showed us they loved us. They talked with us, laughed with us, fed us, and celebrated with us. They gave us the confidence we needed to know we could go and do whatever we wanted to do.
I’m not naive. I know that not everyone has the same childhood I had. Not everyone has parents like mine, who were examples of love and stability. And not everyone grows up feeling safe, valued, and important. But what if, for an hour or two, you could make someone else feel safe? What if you could make someone else feel valued? What if you could make someone else feel important?
September 25th is National Cooking Day. But you don’t have to wait until then. Cook for your family, and sit down to dinner with them. If that’s not where you’re at in life, cook for friends, and sit down to dinner with them. It doesn’t have to be fancy to make them feel important. You simply have to make it with them in mind, and they’ll get that. They’ll know it, and they’ll feel loved and love you for it. Cheers, to all our Internet friends, and I hope you know how much I would love to cook a meal for each one of you.
The recipe pictured is Chicken Thighs Braised with Cabbage, Herbs, & Sun-dried Tomatoes. You can find the recipe on PotsandPans.com, as well as the Anolon Vesta Cast-Iron Braiser used to cook it. BUT! PotsandPans.com is letting me give one of those away to one of our readers, so take a moment to enter below and be sure to check out the rest of what PotsandPans.com has available.