We all know the feeling. It hits you just when you walk through the door, drop your bags on the table, and kick off your shoes. You’re home. There’s an old Marvin Gaye song called “Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home).” My version would be a little different: wherever I cook for family, that’s my home.
Cooking transforms an apartment or house into a home. The smell of bacon in the morning, cookies after school, or roasted chicken as you walk in from work. Whether you’re cooking up savory grits for the family or a grilled cheese for yourself, cooking contributes to that sense of comfort and love in a home.
And while there are studies about folks who skip the home-cooked meals or don’t have a dining room table at home anymore, you and I savor what these bring to our home—a way to nurture those we love and gather them to share stories, struggles, and laughter.
Think about the places where you spend the most time in your home—the chair you like to read in, your bed (of course), maybe the kids’ playroom, and the kitchen. Over the years I’ve filled mine with favourite tools (I love my lemon juice squeezer and Microplane grater), loads of pots and pans, and every spice imaginable. The kitchen is where I watch my son experiment with pouring and measuring to mix up the most inedible creations, where I “sous” for my husband, and where I bake pies and make my Oma’s cookies, fix lunches, and quietly pop popcorn (yes, on the stove) late at night when I can’t sleep. The kitchen is the epicentre of our family’s home life, and as such, it is lovingly worn like a favorite teddy bear.
In this season of family and tradition, we celebrate home with stories of pantry cooking, family recipes, an heirloom dining room table, and a photo essay of everyday kitchens. I have always believed that home is where local food really flourishes. Farm to table isn’t just a chef ‘s movement—it’s a way of life that all of us can embrace every time we open the fridge or turn on the stove. It’s about flavor, quality, community, season, and love.
This holiday season I want to encourage you to extend your local food habit to as much of your holiday buying as possible. Celebrate Cleveland by buying local (we have a gift guide to get you started). This has been a big year for Cleveland. 2016 in the 216 brought historic wins, national television coverage, and the reopening of our beloved Public Square. Here’s hoping for continued love in the 216 in 2017 and for plenty of home-cooking to see you through winter!