My very first memory is baking with my grandma the night my little brother was being born. I remember her kitchen table crowded with cookie dough. We cut out dozens of miniature animal cookies, baked them, and packaged them up in miniature paper baskets. The next day, we delivered them to my parents and little brother in the hospital.
That night solidified my relationship with food. Getting to play with my food as a child also helped.
My mom trying the mosquito bread that my brother made (you can guess where the name came from!) and keeping the recipe we created for it in her recipe box to this day. Making lasagna for my mom as a surprise Mother's Day dinner (I had wanted to make homemade noodles, but 11-year-old me knew it wasn't a good idea). Picking black raspberries for hours just outside of my childhood home and eating them, baking them, canning them into delicious dishes. My dad taking me out fishing and sauteing up the tiny, tiny perch I caught for dinner.
And the list goes on.
Today, with my day job as a teacher and passion for teaching, cooking provides much-needed relaxation in my life. It forces me to focus on one task at a time (although I get a lot of podcast listening in). It sustains me. And it provides ample opportunities for me to sit with friends and share what I have created.
Making Michael Pollan Proud stems from a desire to spend more time thinking about the food I eat.
I read Pollan's book The Botany of Desire while vacationing in the Netherlands and Italy a few summers ago. I knew I had favorite foods, but I had never before thought of foods (beyond chocolate) fulfilling specific desires in our life. He broke down specific foods, their histories, and mankind's interactions with them in ways that captured the beauty of food.
That first book set me off on a reading journey that I am still enjoying.
Michael Pollan's advice, most succintly summed up is this. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
And that's what I set out to do here. I want to bake real food, made with real ingredients that I recognize. I want to source as much as my food locally as I can (my New Year's resolution). I want to prepare food that is quality, instead of just producing a quantity of food to be consumed. I want to use plants and grains as frequently as possible in my cooking. And, as Pollan also recommends, I want to savor the food that I eat. I'll try to set the table when I eat alone, and I'll find frequent opportunities to share what I create with friends.
I just can't keep my hands out of the pantry.