Someone once asked me when I’d stop reading and talking about food all the time, and I said “When you stop eating it every day.” Food is more than sustenance. Food is the health of the soil, the livelihood of farmers, ranchers, and bakers, the price of equity for migrant laborers and farmworkers. Food is our common language, a token of greeting or an act of nurturing. Food is the most visceral thing we can share with strangers. Whatever you eat, however you cook, do it mindfully; food is more than what we eat.
Why I Cook
I grew up on the east coast with a Mexican-American mama and a Jewish papa. It wasn’t quite fusion cuisine on our dinner table, but while other kids were scooping jam into thumbprint cookies, I was learning how to roll a tortilla. In 2002, I moved to Oregon and after a few years realized this was the place to put down my roots.
In the Pacific Northwest, we are lucky enough to enjoy a climate where you can grow a huge variety of foods year-round (though a collective pastime is finding ever more creative ways to cook winter squash); and in Portland, we are lucky enough to have the demand and the infrastructure for farm-direct, local produce. I have been involved in the farmers market community for several years now, and when you are surrounded by such fresh, high-quality foods, cooking seasonally comes naturally.
I am a huge advocate of farm-direct food, which in all its incarnations supports the local economy and encourages conscientious, small-scale production. My personal preference is to shop (and work) at farmers markets, because I love interacting with the farmers and producers of what I eat, people whose lives are dictated by the rhythms of the season and the vagaries of weather. I love learning about a farmer’s new favorite crop or hearing about customers’ mouth-watering dinner plans. It’s hard not to be a good cook when you start with such good food.
When I’m not cooking, I like to travel around the beautiful state of Oregon, whether to the coast, the Columbia River Gorge, or some of my other favorite places. But let’s face it—there are few times when I’m not in the kitchen, reading a cookbook, hanging out at a farmers market, or checking out a local restaurant.
Unless otherwise specified, all photos on this site are taken by me, with an occasional uncredited guest photo by A. The photo of me on this page was taken by Steve Lasky.
morethanweeat [at] gmail [dot] com