French Fridays with Dorie: Food Revolution Day
You might ask "what is Food Revolution Day?" Well...
Mardi, fearless Food Revolution Embassador and ardent Dorista is spearheading the groups efforts (along with hosting events in Toronto) provided the following commentary:
"Friday May 15th 2015 is the fourth annual Food Revolution Day – a day of global action created by Jamie Oliver and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation to engage and inspire people of all ages to learn about food and how to cook it.
This year, Food Revolution Day is a global campaign to put compulsory food education back on the school curriculum. Jamie passionately believes that by educating children about food and cooking in a fun and engaging way, we can equip them with the basic skills they need to lead healthier, happier lives, for themselves and their future families. Dorie agrees – last year when I was chatting with her about food education, she said: 'I would love to see a generation that can cook and wants to cook for themselves and others. The world would be a better place.'
With overweight and obesity statistics increasing at an alarming rate, and preventable diet-related disease claiming more lives earlier than ever before, it has never been more important to educate children about food, where it comes from and how it affects their bodies. Food Revolution Day is about getting kids food smart and setting them up for a long, healthy life."
That is a message that we should all be able to get behind, no?
Realizing that it might not be practical for all of the Doristas to host cooking events, Mardi instead challenged us with a post theme. The theme for this years FRD post is: "Tell us, what did Dorie teach you over the past four years?" We were encouraged to share a recipe or technique from Around My French Table that we think is a "must now".
Talk about open ended questions. No pressure. No pressure at all.
If you asked me what was the one recipe from AMFT that I thought every person should know how to make, it would have to be Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux (Lazy Man's Roast Chicken - recipe in second link), hands down. A roasted chicken can serve as a centerpiece of a dinner for company, can form the basis of several other meals - and if you are feeling especially frugal, it can be the base of a delicious soup stock. Best of all, it's easy to prepare.
Now that I've shared my "must know" recipe, I would like to talk about the technique from AMFT that has had the most impact on my cooking activities.
When I started to think about what I wanted to say for FRD, one thing kept popping into my mind. It wasn't that awesome roast chicken or the cauliflower or potato gratins (both repeaters in my house) or even the dreaded recipes - like salmon in a jar and sardine anything.
No. It was something totally different.
All throughout AMFT, there are little sidebars titled: bonne idée. And those little sidebars are filled with suggestions for "playing around" or changing up the recipe. Now, I know that I *might* have a bit of a reputation for going rogue on recipes (aka not following directions); however, all kidding aside, I do believe that if we want to encourage people to get into the kitchen and cook meals that enable them to live a healthy lifestyle, it needs to be made an environment that facilitates that activity. This means that as we work with our children, friends and families to foster the "cooking bug", we need to do it in a manner that meets them where we are at.
Cooking should not be a punitive activity. There needs to be room for people to adjust their menus and techniques based on skill set and preferences. If you don't like raisins, leave them out. If veal is not your thing, do some research and find another alternative. Having that little bit of freedom instills confidence in the kitchen and keeps people cooking.
My youngest daughter went through a culinary vocational program when she was in high school and spent a lot of time with me in the kitchen during her high school years - I wasn't sure whether or not any of it sank it at the time... When she turned vegetarian, she realized that she needed to take a more active role in the preparation of her own meals. When she first started out, she would scour on line recipes and cookbooks for food ideas and would constantly request that certain items be picked up so that she could make a meal. Over time, as her confidence increased, she became better at looking in the refrigerator/ cupboards and pulling together a meal out what was already on hand. There are some days, I am actually kind of jealous of her meals.
As parents, we only get so much time to pass along those things that we value to our children. The sooner we get them started on a path to a healthy lifestyle, the more likely it is that they will continue to make those choices.
|Not even hurricanes will keep them from sourcing ingredients for a home cooked meal!|
|After a hard day of play, it is important to refuel!|
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Tune in next week - we are cooking the cover of Around My French Table (and the final recipe - sad face).