Continuing A Personal Food RevolutionThu 08 Mar 2012
Story by Amy Kehs
It has almost been one year since I finished my Food Revolution project where I cooked all 173 recipes in Jamie's Food Revolution cookbook in 365 days. What started out just being a way to teach myself to cook blossomed into something bigger than I ever could have imagined. My journey, told through my blog, amysfoodrevolution.blogspot.com, became motivation for friends, family and total strangers.
The readers of my blog also "got brave" in the kitchen and began their own Food Revolutions. Along the way I even began teaching cooking classes at Whole Foods. When I finished last March everyone had a lot of questions. "What will you do next?" "Will you cook through another book?" "Would it be another Jamie book?" "Will you teach more classes?" and "Will you continue to follow in Jamie's footsteps and take on school lunches?"
I had my own questions as well. "Do I keep blogging?" "What's next?" "What will happen to my cooking now that I don't have a goal?"
What To Do Next?
Over the next few months I did keep cooking and not a day went by that I didn't think about these questions and the journey that I had just finished. But the biggest question that overshadowed all of these was "Am I a cook now?" When I began my journey I had a clear definition for myself at what I thought would make me a good cook. I thought a good cook should be able to:
1. Go to the store and buy ingredients to "whip something up."
2. Have a couple of recipes that she just knows and can make without pulling out a recipe book.
3. Roast a chicken.
4. Be "known" for something that she makes, and
5. Have dinner on the table almost every night with little to no stress.
My Food Revolution had really helped me accomplish all of these except for number five. I still found myself freaking out a bit during the week on those busy nights where everyone needed to be three places at once but I still wanted to get dinner on the table. I still have trouble during the busy week, in the middle of homework, my kids' dance and swim lessons and meetings to get dinner on the table.
As the months went by I kept hearing back from my blog followers. They missed me. They wondered if I was still cooking and they missed the motivation I had given them. I was finally realizing that this wasn't just a journey to teach me to cook. I realized that I was not the only non-cook who NEEDED to cook for her family. I wasn't the only one who was afraid to step up to the oven every night. And I also wasn't the only one that wished they could conquer that fear. My Food Revolution turned into a domino effect of other Food Revolutions.
Food Revolution Hero
In August, I got the ultimate sign that I needed to keep going. Jamie's Food Revolution had picked ME to be one of their heroes. I was incredibly flattered and also so humbled by the company I was in. But, even after that I kept telling myself I was done. Email after email, conversation after conversation, I was still being gently tapped on the shoulder to keep at it.
Then, just like how the last round of Food Revolution started, I turned on the TV this fall and saw Jamie promoting his new book, Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking good food fast. That was number five on my list! It was like that subtitle was written for me. This was sure to teach me to get those weeknight dinners on the table when time and energy were hard to come by. I went out that week and bought it, wrapped it up and put it under the Christmas tree as a gift to myself. “To Amy, From Jamie,” I wrote on the gift tag.
Continuing My Cooking Classes
In the meantime, my cooking classes were also evolving. I taught another class at Whole Foods after my Food Revolution ended last spring. Soon after that I found out that a good friend of mine was opening up a local gourmet market. Chef Pope is a great friend and our paths have crossed quite a few times over our lives. Before I took on my Food Revolution project he was one of those people that I asked time and time again for cooking information, tips and encouragement. When I found out that he’d be offering cooking classes at his new market it was another light bulb moment for me. My first cooking class at his new place is on March 5th and I am so excited!
My journey isn’t over and it’s time to get started again!
About the author: Amy Kehs is a wife, mom of two and small business owner in Maryland. Amy’s Food Revolution started as a personal goal and has grown in to an online community effort inspiring many of her blog’s followers to cook for the first time. You can read more about Amy’s Food Revolution here.
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