I think everyone loves getting a kiss. It establishes a connection, embodies emotion and conveys intimacy and tenderness. A kiss is a very special way of showing love.
A kiss works the same in the kitchen - Keep It Simple Stupid is the right motto for food no matter what you're eating, cooking, serving or buying. If you want to show someone you love them (or if you at least want to love yourself), then follow KISS.
Why am I all hung up on kiss? And wouldn't keeping it simple mean buying pre-made or frozen meals instead of bothering with cooking? No. Kiss isn't about making things easier for yourself, but rather keeping your ingredients, your methods and your motives simple. Here's what I mean:
- Don't add (or start with) anything except the exact ingredients needed - that means minimizing added sugars, preservatives, transfats or processing
- Don't serve anything from a box, can or bag if you can reasonably avoid it - use what's fresh, in season and available locally
- Stay "as close to nature" as reasonably possible - cut out refined & heavily processed products and avoid chemicals or artificial anything (even if it claims to help you shave off pounds)
Think of it this way:
If you wanted to give flowers to your partner, child, friend or coworker to show how much you care, would you first dunk them in chemicals, grind them into dust, bleach away the color and then re-shape into new artificial flowers?
The same is true for food. Nature provides a spectacular array of fresh options, so why mess with it beyond what's absolutely necessary? Show someone how much you really care by taking the time to keep it simple. Here's a check list for a kiss kitchen:
- Nothing out of a can or plastic
- Fresh or forget it
- Seasoned, not salted
- No preservatives
- Start from scratch
- If it doesn't occur naturally, what's it doing in my food?
Sound daunting? It doesn't need to be and I'll share everything I know in this blog to help keep it from becoming an unmanageable task. But before you shake your head or roll your eyes or otherwise dismiss my lecture on kiss as crackpot organic garbage, answer this: if I can't be bothered now that someone else has pointed out why kiss is the right thing to do, what kind of person does that make me?
What does it say about us if we'd rather pop open a can of tomatoes (filled with dangerous BPA additives and skinned with chemicals) because it's easier than blanching and chopping fresh tomatoes? Or what does it say about us when we buy a pre-made dessert loaded with transfats, sugars and preservatives - all because it's faster and easier than baking a batch of brownies from scratch? Does it say "I love you" or does it say "I can't be bothered"?
I think next it's time for a recipe...