Can You Boil Water?

The greatest dishes are very simple. Auguste Escoffier, French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. 

Yesterday I quoted Alice Waters, a famous, leading-edge U.S. chef. Today, I want to share with you her two favorite recipes. An advocate of fresh and local, her first favorite recipe is: “Go get some perfectly ripe figs in August, put them on a plate, and eat them.” Her other favorite is: “Go cut some mint from the garden, boil water, pour it over the mint. Wait. And then drink.” No kidding. These quotes are from her book Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook. 

You can do this—or some version of this. On Marco Island, where I live, our Farmer’s Market just opened selling fresh, locally grown, organic fruits, vegetables, and much more. I’ve written about it before because I love fresh food. The famous French chef, Alain Ducasse, says 85% of cooking is shopping. Waters says, “Find what’s ripe and beautiful and alive and in season.” Don’t think you can cook? Start with boiling some water—you’ve got this!

Affirmation: I can cook.

Coaching questions/requests: If cooking intimidates you, start with something simple. Slice up some veggies (fennel is my new favorite, carrots, or colored peppers), put on a little olive oil, salt and pepper, a piece of fresh fish and roast about 20 minutes. A beautiful, gourmet meal. What will you make for dinner? Start with something fresh.

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6 thoughts on “Can You Boil Water?

  1. I remember my dad calling me one day all excited. He had made himself some boiled eggs. He was recently widowed and about 78 years old. He had lived in an era where men did little cooking. At least he didn’t. He had sold his house and was living in a senior living apartment. It didn’t supply meals, so he was on his own. It was a big deal for him to boil his own egg. He said he had followed the directions he had heard on some TV cooking show. He didn’t learn to cook very much. He mostly went out to eat or had TV dinners at home. But he knew how to boil his egg and how to make his own coffee. This was a big part of his independence.

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    1. This is the sweetest story! You know, I love Dad-stories especially. Thank you for sharing.

      My dad was widowed twice and, by necessity, learned to be a good cook. I think that’s one reason he lived a long and healthy life.

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      1. My dad was widowed twice too. He had remarried within 7 months of the loss of my mother. He was married 27 years to my mother and 26 years to his second wife. He always said he had a 50+ year marriage, but not to the same person. Both women were the main cooks of the family and dad wasn’t in the kitchen much. I’m not sure where he ate during his first time he was widowed. But he survived 5 years after losing his second wife.

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  2. My mother in law developed dementia after she was widowed in her 80s. Her sons paid some very kind neighbors to look after her since her family were all in different states. When I would visit I would make spaghetti sauce and she always wanted to stir it. Her caregivers (who were loving but not professionally trained) would say, “No, no Angie. You worked hard all you life. Let us wait on you now.”

    It took a lot of talking for me to convince them cooking was very important to her, gave her value and was comforting.

    I love to cook and love to stir. I guess I got that from her. ❤️

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    1. Such a lovely story. You reminded me: I was visiting a home once where they let residents fold dish towels. They loved it! I want to end up in a place where I can stir spaghetti or fold towels.

      Thanks for sharing.

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