Reflections on learning how to cook

Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn

Reflections on learning how to cook — Mad Hungry

  • posted on: September 16, 2016
  • posted by: 21 Acres
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In 2013, I was a recent college grad and the economy was in the tank. Shortly after graduating I became a mother and took it upon myself to learn all I could about home-keeping which included watching Martha Stewart Living on the Hallmark channel at 10am. Martha was welcome company while folding laundry and nursing my young son. After Martha, Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn was on. Her philosophy really spoke to me, by cooking for the ones you love, “it will guide them home, and having learned to cook themselves, they will pass it on. They will be more self-sufficient, a better roommate, boyfriend, father and son” (Mad Hungry, 2011).

Lucinda taught me HOW to cook. Herein, this is where my love of cooking for my family was born. Each episode Lucinda prepared several recipes to build a complete meal, demonstrated proper knife skills, techniques on how to build flavors, and how to improvise when your pantry doesn’t have all the “called for” ingredients.

The first recipe I tried was Fried Kale. Kale was the new “it” vegetable and we were new to leafy greens at our house. The method was easy.  It included oil, garlic, a hot pan, salt, pepper and kale. Over time, I have made it my own by occasionally adding spices and using the stems. Next came Busy Day Chocolate CakeHomemade croutonsLentil soupMinestrone soup and Beef bourguignon. With each recipe and preparation I was learning, building my skill and confidence. I am now an excellent home cook. Chopping has become therapy. Feeding my children home-cooked meals is a source of pride for me. I am happily raising vegetable eaters.

All these skills I brought into my work at 21 Acres. I believe in the power of home-cooking and eating a wholesome meal at the table with your family.

The vegetables grown on our Farm are tender and sweet. Before 21 Acres, I never had such beautiful food. A few years into my work at 21 Acres I created the 21 Acres Harvest Share.  It is a food access program for people who are living with limited resources learn how to cook and eat locally and with the seasons. If we are going to work towards a food system that is more just for the planet and people, all eaters need to have the opportunity to be involved. The power of cooking real food inspires me to teach other parents to cook wholesome food for their families.

Here at 21 Acres, we believe in growing, eating, and living all in a way that enhances biodiversity and resilience. Learning how to cook for your family with the with seasonal, local ingredients is part of our mission.  This is why I am so excited to have Lucinda Scala Quinn visit 21 Acres this Fall, October 4, at 6:30pm during her tour for her new book Mad Hungry Family, Essential Recipes to Feed the Whole Crew. In this new book, Lucinda Scala Quinn champions home cooks by offering winning recipes alongside no-nonsense advice and encouragement that will bolster your confidence and inspire you to improvise and get creative in the kitchen every night of the week.

Lucinda will also demonstrate a recipe from her new book using Northwest local, seasonal ingredients. We invite you to come, get inspired and feel the love of home-cooking.

— Meghan Tenhoff, 21 Acres