It is said that every cloud has a silver lining. Given our current economic situation, wouldn't it be great if that silver lining came in the form of people taking time to get reconnected with their food and maybe even spend a little time learning how to cook? As a cook and expat living in a tiny home in France, I was thrilled to be asked to submit a guest blog post for The Kitchn about my all time favorite subjects; food, gardening and sustainable living.
As a cook, I have been a long-time supporter of shopping at my local farmers' markets, cooking with the seasons and the philosophy behind the growing sustainable movement. I believe that life truly is in the details and that decisions we make really do make a difference. I am inspired by the number of urban gardeners getting back to the simple tasks of growing their own vegetables or making the decision to keep chickens in their backyard. I think we just might be onto something good.
Digging in the dirt and growing just a little something for your table will help you get reconnected to your food and improve your cooking. At the same time, you'll be doing something good for your health and the health of your community. Your garden doesn't have to be big, a few pots or a window box is all that you really need to get started. If you're not quite ready to build your own chicken coop, just be sure to purchase your eggs from your local farmers' market. You might be paying just a little more, but you'll know that you are making a difference in your community by supporting your local farmers.
Good food doesn't have to be fancy or difficult to prepare. It is all about the quality of the ingredients. So support your local farmers' markets, cook with the seasons, and try your hand at a bit of organic gardening.
When thinking of the perfect recipe to submit with the post, I decided on one of my all time favorites: Aïoli with fresh garden herbs. The egg is from my local market, raised in a sustainable way, the herbs are from my kitchen garden, and aïoli is the perfect accompaniment to any vegetable from the garden. Most importantly, I hope it inspires you to spend a little time learning how to cook and get back to the basics of good and simple food.
Aïoli with fresh garden herbs
2 small cloves of garlic
pinch of sea salt
1 egg yolk
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, for juicing
herbs from the garden, such as chives, basil, parsley, chopped
In a marble mortar with a wooden pestle, pound the garlic and the salt to a smooth, liquid paste. Add the egg yolk and stir briskly with the pestle until they lighten in color. Begin to add the olive oil in a tiny trickle, to the side of the mortar so that the oil flows gradually into the yolk mixture, while stirring constantly with the pestle. As the mixture begins to thicken, the flow of oil can be increased to a thick thread. If the mixture gets too thick, add a drop or two of water. Add the juice of the lemon and the herbs.
Makes about 1 cup
Thank you so much for sharing, Marjorie! Marjorie Taylor is the proprietor of The Cook's Atelier. She cooks and writes about food from her home in Burgundy, France.
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(Images: Marjorie Taylor)