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.


Celebrating Beauty

When something is beautiful, everybody realizes it. It’s like walking into a grove of old-growth redwoods or witnessing an extraordinary sunset. Alice Waters, American award-winning chef, a pioneer in locally grown, California cuisine

I’m quoting Waters today as I think about our neighbors in California who are experiencing unprecedented fires. Such a beautiful state. I’m so sorry for your losses.

California beauty, like beauty everywhere, enriches our lives. When I was a social worker, I visited a single woman who lived with many children in a dirt-floor hovel. One daughter was deaf and I was helping her obtain hearing aids. When I showed up unannounced at Fanny’s, the floors were always swept, clutter put away, and a jar of wild flowers sat on the scarred table. I knew Fanny over 50 years ago but I’ve never forgotten the beauty of her home. She literally had nothing yet she found a way to create beauty in her surroundings. She inspired me to do the same. 

No matter how humble, everyone recognizes beauty.

Affirmation: I recognize and share beauty.

Coaching questions: How important is beauty to you? What difference do your surroundings make in how you feel about your life? What can you do today to create more beauty around you?