Want To Be A More Creative Cook?

I've been dying to share this story from Heated with you, but I wanted to save it for the start of the year. It's about a fascinating little corner of the internet that I (to nobody's surprise) knew nothing about before our writer, Sam Hill, brought it to my attention. It's a cooking subgroup on Reddit where each week a different theme is announced, and members of the community cook a dish to match the theme, then share it on the forum. Some of the themes are straightforward (French food, for instance), while others are a little outside the box (like food inspired by video games). I could do the French one; video games, not so much.

I wanted to share this with you for a few reasons. First, it's an interesting story (and a quick read)—see below. More importantly, it shines a light on something that I think many of us strive for (and struggle with) in our day to day cooking: getting more creative, and getting out of our comfort zones. As Sam writes in his piece:

The subreddit has “really pushed me outside my comfort zone,” said Pat Cannon, a Chicago-based loss-control consultant. “I cook regularly but was sticking to a small collection of pretty common dishes. But now I’m making Senegalese food, Korean dishes, Japanese dishes. It makes the world seem a little smaller, a little closer.”

You certainly don't need to go join an online cooking community to expand your horizons in the kitchen, but this story is a good excuse to think about how we might be inclined to go about it. Whether it's organizing challenges or themed dinners with friends, immersing yourself in a new cuisine, or just dipping here and there into random cookbooks, considering how we might push beyond our comfort zones in 2020 seems like a pretty worthwhile way to start the year. Take some time to think about it if you want, and in the meantime, I'll see you Tuesday.

—Mark


“Everyone in the community is trying to get better at something and I think coming together like that attracts people with positive energy. Everyone here is trying to improve and trying to help others do the same.”

KITCHEN CREATIVITY, ONE WEEK AT A TIME


Talk To Me, Goose!

Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.