After the major holidays pass, I always hear people say things like, "I have spent too much time in the kitchen" or "That was too much; I'm done cooking." While I can understand the sentiment as we do tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen during the holiday season and it can be too much work...sometimes, there is a reason we spend the time and effort. Not to be too trite or even sappy, we spend the time in the kitchen because that is where the heart of a home really is.
I'm not an overly sentimental kind of guy, but most of a family's lasting memories are based around a meal or some type of food. Nobody ever says, "Hey, remember that great time we all stood around and stared at each other?" or "Wow, wasn't that a great Christmas fast?."
Cooking, no matter if it is creating a giant meal for thirty people or simply throwing a grilled cheese together, is about sharing something of yourself. It allows a bonding and a way to communicate without using way too many words.
In other words, every meal doesn't have to be an event worthy of being televised. You don't have to use techniques perfected in the finest Parisian kitchens. You don't need to only use the most delicate, hand-raised, all-organic, trendy kale that was bathed in distilled water under a waning moon while being serenaded by left-handed virgins.
In Beach Blanket Bistro and the upcoming Beach Blanket Brunch, I do my best to use easy to find, simple ingredients, combined in interesting ways. Cooking doesn't need to be a chore to be good. In fact, it shouldn't be a chore at all.
Now get back in the kitchen and enjoy yourself. It matters to those around you.