This post is being written as an entry into this month's Challenge : Thankful Thoughts - ActiveRain's November Gratitude Challenge.
The mission, should we choose to accept it, is to share what we are grateful for, in up to four posts during the month of November. This is my third 2023 gratitude post. The first was all about nature. The second was about family and friends. This post has to do with food.
I know I've written about this before in years past, because I have always been grateful for food. And I still am!
To start, I'm just grateful to HAVE food. Had I been born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Yemen or many other places in the world, I might not even be alive today. For many reasons, but mainly starvation. So I am grateful that at this point in time, I am blessed with plenty.
I am also grateful to have fresh food. Growing up, my mom did a lot of cooking, but we also had a lot of canned and processed food. As I started paying more attention to what I eat, especially in the last decade or two, I've been focusing more on fresh food. So I now am lucky enough to be able to garden, and have fresh vegetables for at least part of the year. In addition to that fresh food, we have wild game meat and/or fish at least once a week. Those two items, organic vegetables and meat are the freshest food imaginable. So I'm grateful to be able to eat healthily.
Further, I am grateful I've learned how to cook. I cannot imagine eating all my meals out, although I do know people who do that. I also knew someone years ago who never used her oven. As in never. About five years after she moved into her home, the wrapping for the stove was still inside. I can't even imagine.
But learning to cook for me was a real process that is still ongoing. My mom tried to teach me when I was a teenager, but I just wasn't interested at the time. After I was married and moved out of the house I realized in order to eat well and keep excess weight off, I was going to have to start making my own meals. Burger King and delivered pizza wasn't cutting it. So I ordered recipe cards in the mail and started following recipes and figuring out what I liked or didn't like. I still have some of those cards years later, but I continued learning new things by:
Asking my mom for her suggestions. While that didn't happen when I was living at home, I finally asked and mom was happy. I still have many of her hand-written and typed recipes in my kitchen.
Taking cooking classes. Not only were these great to learn new techniques and cuisines, it has also been fun meeting other people who loved to cook!
Asking friends and family for ideas. We all have different ways of cooking and it's great finding new possibilities (just search for recipes on ActiveRain!)
Watching cooking shows. There's a Montana-specific show called Big Sky Kitchen with Eduardo Garcia that I really enjoy watching. I have made several of his recipes and they have been a yummy addition to our table.
Starting a cooking club in Kalispell. We have five couples who meet every other month and do a themed meal. It's not only delicious, but I learn new meals AND have a lot of fun. There's always wine (the wine is not always themed!)
Buying new cook books. I get a lot of recipes from the internet also, but I really enjoy reading through themed cookbooks to get ideas and background. I have one called "It's all Greek to me" which was the source of some delicious Greek food for our Greek-themed cooking club. I have two vegetarian cookbooks that have been my go-to for meatless meals over the last decade or so. I've got a James Beard pasta book and more.
So, there you have it. I am incredibly grateful for all my food blessings. I know I am lucky! And I do love to eat, so it's all perfect.
Featured photo from Kat's mind combined with AI.