Let's get back to creating dishes and appreciating food

Returning to recipes

The idea of New Year’s resolutions feels a bit outdated. Often made, many fade away after a few weeks.

The word itself, from Merriam-Webster, in part, is defined as the act or process of resolving, such as the act of answering or solving.

Which brings me to a question about so-called one-dish creations that, I think, needs an answer: When did people decide that throwing a pile of seemingly random ingredients into a large aluminum foil roaster pan was a good idea?

Many videos of these dishes have popped up for me on social media lately, surely because Internet algorithms point this content in my direction. The majority begin with the large aluminum pan on the counter – in one memorable case, with the paper info sheet at the bottom left there to bake along with the food – followed by the placement of a large block of cheese or tube of ground meat in the center, which is then surrounded by the dumping of cans of veggies and condensed soups around the pan’s edge.

I hope these dishes are edible, but I’m not sure many taste all that great.

My second question is: Why waste these products? Many are shelf stable, and it seems to me a solution to solving the increasing need at food banks and related charities might be to donate these items where they are needed most.

This is not to slight anyone using crock pots, air fryers or Instant Pots to solve the question, what’s for dinner? I’ve seen many good recipe videos using these devices to save both time and money, and I am a major fan of one- (or two-) pot or pan recipes. But the key word here is “recipes.” So, let us go back to the idea of a resolution.

Maybe 2024 is the year we return to recipes.

Pull out those retro wire-coiled cookbooks from the back of the dusty cupboard or a drawer, create a digital or paper file folder of dishes you found online, ask friends or relatives if they can take a pic of their favourite family recipe and message it to you.

Save a few bucks by having the ingredients for a recipe on your shopping list, rather than winging it when you’re in the store or save that list to an app and watch for sale items.

In 2024, let’s respect the process of making a meal, resolve to appreciate the time and thought that goes into cooking and creating a dish, and recognize, to quote Cesar Chavez, that “the people who give you their food, give you their heart.”

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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