How I Taught My Brother To Cook

Improvisational Tuscan-Provençal-Catalan Cookery (and other good stuff to eat)

The recent earthquake in Italy has more to it than the normal devastation usually associated with such a catastrophic event. Now, we have been preaching about the old ways of our ancestors including their food and eating habits for quite a while now. We have been trying to impress upon you to avoid the modern "conveniences" and fast foods. Not to mention our angst over modern practices over consumers for the so called betterment of mankind. Now comes this earthquake. Announced on NPR radio this morning was a sentence that spoke volumes if people actually listened and absorbed it. Chances are, it went over their heads and they just blew it off. Essentially it said, "most of the casualties from the earthquake were caused by modern buildings and inferior design while the centuries old structures built thousands of years ago are still standing"

Does that mean anything to you? It should. The world is churning out garbage these days and I don't care in what country you are living, they are all creating superficial junk. Quality is not important anymore but PERCEIVED quality is. It is all about perception and instilling a warm and cozy feeling into consumers heads while selling them trash. It reminds me of the old definition of diplomacy. "The ability to tell somebody to go to hell in a way that they will look forward to the trip". This is what our world is all about.

You have choices, of course. They begin in your home. But first you must decide what is important to you. Hopefully it is holding onto tradition, quality and family. If this is not the case for you, then you are obviously part of today's problem.

It is time to chart your own course. Food is one aspect we recognize as an important fundamental. Not only is the food important in of itself but the gathering of family and friends to eat is just as beneficial to ones health and outlook.

Maybe preparing your meals will take a little time. But remember, Rome was not built in a day......and it is still standing.

Views: 18

Comment by John Barrows on April 7, 2009 at 11:33am
The city of L'Aquila is one of the larger towns in the region of Italy named Abruzzo (or more correctly gli Abruzzi). It is one of the poorer regions in the country, from whence came many Italian immigrants to our shores a hundred years ago. It is beautifully mountainous - rugged - and a poor place to raise crops and make a living. Our grandfather, Giovanni Napoleone, came from there - from a little town called Ateleta just 60 miles from L'Aquila. Ateleta was destroyed by the retreating German army near the end of WWII. It was rebuilt after the war. I hope our distant relatives there are all right and that the town suffered no major damage.
Comment by Rondi Leonard on April 14, 2009 at 8:47pm
I agree with you, John. Andy recently made a comment about me that I wanted to share with you. He explained that in these times when we are trying to tighten our belts (IE shopping at Goodwill) and cutting corners that I will spare no expense when it comes to preparing food. For me, I am sharing my love. My love of food, my love for the person I am cooking for and the love of the event being prepared for. We ALWAYS toast each glass of wine with "Cin Cin" - as I recall we did when we were in Italy some years ago and then we also say "a familia." Because everyone who comes to my table, to my home, to my heart is welcomed as family and I just don't know of anything more important than family. The love is there and openly and honestly expressed. Every moment is cherished, every bite is savored, every sip of wine is appreciated, and every conversation is sincerely listened to and responded to with respect.

In a slightly different venue I truely appreciate Pema Chodron, a simple female Buddhist monk who I have read, who has expanded my views and love and compassion for others. All of this, what you, your brother Patrick, and everyone else on this network are doing here with blogging is connecting people, food, experiences, life and so much more on a grassroots level that simply asks each one to stop and taste the food, enjoy the wine, love the people we are with and take that loving feeling and share it with others. We do that and I thank you for being here, for being you and I can't wait to meet anyone else who is here in Portland on Mother's Day. I already know them, I already care and love them as we are alike.

Thank you, John. with love,
Comment by Rondi Leonard on April 14, 2009 at 8:49pm
Sorry Patrick - I just re-read - you are the one who posted first.... I agree with you!!! Yup, John as well.......
Comment by Patrick on April 15, 2009 at 3:39am
That's ok, sometime Johnny writes under the pen name of "Patrick" when he wants to write deep, thought provoking compositions. Easy mistake.
Comment by John Barrows on April 16, 2009 at 2:03pm
that's right ... when I write stuff that I don't want to be "credited" with I use his name.


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