seasonal change/food with Alice Waters
Passing into a new season, busier than ever. The Harvest Moon was orange and swollen a week or so ago. When one season ripens into the next, commemorating change in some small way is satisfying. For Autumn, why not food? Stews, squash and roasts! More specifically those delicious menus and life lessons by Alice Waters in her book, The Art of Simple Food.
Waters is dedicated to good food through gathering good ingredients and using the 5 senses. Her book is beautiful complete with narrative, drawings of herbs and utensils and a guide to getting your pantry organized. This is the cookbook for anyone who loves Farmers Markets.
Here are the principles taken directly from her book. I highlighted my favorite parts.
Eat locally and sustainably.
Learn where your food comes from and how it is produced. Seek out a diverse variety of vegetables and fruits from small, local producers who take care of the land. Buy eggs, meat and fish from producers whose practices are organic, humane and environmentally sound.
Choose food in season. Even where the growing season is short, organic gardening and farming can extend it: greens can be grown in cold frames and greenhouses, and there are always local foods that can be stored, dried and canned for the winter months. Eating seasonally inspires your menus, gives you a sense of time and place, and rewards you with the most flavorful food.
Shop at farmers’ markets.
Farmers’ markets create communities that value diversity, honesty, seasonality, locality, sustainability, and beauty. Get to know the people who grow your food.
Plant a garden.
It is deeply satisfying to eat food you have grown yourself, in your own backyard or in a community garden. Even a pot of herbs on your window sill can transform your cooking and connect you to the changing seasons, as can foraging for wild foods.
Conserve, compost and recycle.
Take your own basket to the market. Reuse whatever packaging you can. The more you conserve, the less you waste, the better you feel.
Cook simply, engaging all your senses.
Plan uncomplicated meals. Let things taste of what they are. Enjoy cooking as a sensory pleasure: touch, listen, watch, smell, and, above all, taste. Taste as you go. Keep tasting and keep practicing and discovering.
Include your family and friends, and especially children. When children grow, cook and serve food, they want to eat it. The hands-on experience of gardening and cooking teaches children the value and pleasure of good food.
No matter how modest the meal, create a special place to sit down together, and set the table with care and respect. Savor the ritual of the table. Mealtime is a time for empathy and generosity, a time to nourish and communicate.
Remember food is precious.
Good food can only come from good ingredients. Its proper price includes the cost of preserving the environment and paying fairly for the labor of the people who produce it. Food should never be taken for granted.
See pictures from Alice Waters’ legendary restaurant Chez Panisse’s 40th anniversary gatherings as documented on The Selby.