I believe that there is also a partnership with wine, music and environmentthat is worth exploring. For example the there are physical changes people canmake to their homes to help make the kitchen the hub of family life, a simpleexample is knock down the wall between your kitchen and dining roomand/or put seating in the kitchen to create an informal dining area. I firmly believe that the family that eats (or even cooks) together, stays together. In my book I would illustrate this in more detail drawing from my own experiencesand that of other people who have done similar things with equal (or greater)success. Another example that will have purists curdling their sauces is to put a TV and/or hi-fi in the kitchen, I would argue that this is much more likely tomake the kitchen the social hub of the home and get your children of all agesinto the kitchen and therefore increase their exposure to food and the processof cooking and in turn increase the chance that they will get interested in food,or at least the social dimension of food. Another selfish reason is that I like to watch or listen to sport at the weekend when I’m cooking and also to listen tomusic when there’s no sport!My book would also de-emphasize some of the common foodie mantras, forexample, the one about “the best ingredients”. This has always puzzled me, asall of the world’s great cuisines have developed out of a need to make poor,scarce ingredients edible. Of course it’s better to buy free-range (if only onanimal welfare grounds) and organic, local, in-season fruit and vegetables if you can, but if I was trying to feed a family of six, on minimum wages then I’msure I would buy economy eggs, mass produced meat and cheaper imported vegetables, you can still do wonderful things with them. It is much better inmy view to have poor ingredients and a good cook than great ingredients anda poor cook. With this in mind I would show you how even if you’re not able to grow yourown produce, you can enhance your food by growing your own garlic,common herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, even basil. You’ve noidea how satisfying this is! And of course I would share my experiences of my attempts to grow my own vegetables in a suburban garden.
©CJM June 2008