Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why do YOU cook, Allison Arevalo?

Egg on pancake

Photo credit: Allison Arevalo

Have you discovered Local Lemons yet? Blogger Allison Arevalo is a New York transplant and perhaps that is why she embraces the local Bay Area food scene with such enthusiasm. She's been blogging less than a year, but her writing is already finding a home in print and beyond. She makes food that looks and sounds soul satisfying whether she's making Duck Fat Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Cranberries or her own high caliber everything-from-scratch version of a Big Mac. Her food blog is focused on sustainable living but without a hint of attitude or fundamentalism. Plus you have to love it when she improves upon potato pancakes by adding Italian sausage and leeks and topping them with poached eggs!

"I never really thought about it. But now that you ask, it feels like hundreds of reasons are floating in my mind, justifying the insanely long hours I seem to spend in the kitchen. If I had to name a few, let’s start with these:

I cook because I love the feel of food in my hands. The smooth skin of kneaded dough, the beaded florets on a crown of broccoli, the sticky reside of chopped garlic cloves.

I cook because it makes me feel creative. Mashing spices, blending flavors, giving a traditional recipe my unique touch.

I cook because it’s my contribution. Something I can give my friends and family to enjoy, and hopefully put a smile on their face.

I cook because it comes naturally to me. And we all tend to gravitate toward innate talents or abilities.

I cook because it keeps me sane. The rituals of the kitchen help me unwind from a crazy day at work, or the two-hour traffic jam, or the bills on the counter.

I cook because it connects me with my past. I envision my great-grandmother, who taught me the value of fresh foods, preparing meals similar to mine when she was growing up in Italy.

I cook because chemicals, hormones and pesticides scare me. When I cook something myself, I know what I am eating and where it came from.

I cook because I think about food all day long. From the moment I open my eyes until my last bite of dinner, and if my day doesn’t involve something good to eat, it’s just not a good day."

But mainly, I cook because I love it, and because it makes me who I am."