Jamie Oliver's Wish

I adore Jamie Oliver.  Whenever I get the opportunity I watch Jamie Oliver At Home.  I love his approach to cooking and food. You can feel his passion as you watch him prepare deliciously fresh dishes.

In this TEDtalk he discusses his wish for arming families with the tools they need to fight obesity.  I teach high school and I'm appalled by the lack of quality, freshness, and diversity in our school lunches.  I applaud Jamie's mission and hope that America (and the rest of the world) wakes up and starts cooking at home again.  What's most frightening is the youngster's lack of real food knowledge.

I grew up with grandparents (and parents) who farmed.  We kids would help grow and harvest what we ate.  We helped with the livestock.  When we had chicken for dinner one Sunday a month, we were the ones who killed and prepped the chicken(s) for the table. We knew where our food came from.  We knew a beet from a turnip. We knew the difference between butternut squash and crookneck squash. We planted popcorn and Silver Queen corn.  We knew that we would itch "somethin' fierce" if we didn't wear gloves to harvest the okra.  We ate beans of all kinds, cabbages, turnip greens/collards/kale, and all other manner of vegetables grown by our grandparents or us.  Nothing is more satisfying than picking really ripe tomatoes and eating them right there in the garden.

I am now determined to garden more this next summer. I've let it slip into a few potted plants like tomatoes, bell peppers, and my sad herb garden.   I want to grow as much as possible.  I have let teaching take over my life the last three years; giving up a lot of the things I used to do as I develop lesson plans and take graduate classes so I can be a better teacher.  But I miss gardening and canning.  I really love to cook from fresh ingredients and I too have fallen into the quick meal, fast food trap way too many times this past couple of years.  I'm hoping that I can separate my work life and home life more this year.  Teachers are never really "clocked-out".  But maybe I can work out a healthier schedule.  One that includes more freshness and a lot more Jamie Oliver!  Thanks Jamie - keep up the fight!  We're here helping where we can.


Rusha said...

Go for the gardening! The hobby actually works quite well with teaching, especially if you can till & plant during Spring Break and week and harvest during summer! Have fun re-acquainting yourself with the earth -- there's nothing more rewarding!

Sandra Van Winkle said...

Thanks, Rusha! I fully intend to. I love gardening. I haven't been able to get it together the last couple of years. But, it is now time again to till and smell the earth. Plus, I enjoy photographing in the garden. It(the garden) feeds so much of our souls.