Welcome to “Season to Taste”!

“Season to taste”—-we’ve all read it a zillion times at the end of a recipe.  For some, it invokes feelings of panic:  “how do I know what ‘to taste’ is supposed to taste like?”  or “why can’t you just TELL me how much salt and pepper instead of making me guess?”  For others, like me, it is a license for leeway.  While in general, I don’t consider myself  to be a super laid-back kinda gal, when it comes to cooking, call me carefree!   I like to stray from the recipe, add my own twist, and sometimes utterly disregard instructions.   Perhaps I have issues following directions…but that’s a post for another time.  😉

As a cooking instructor, food writer, and recipe developer, I am always certain to include exact measurements in my recipes, even if in my own kitchen I add a splash of this or a pinch of that.  But when it comes to instructing my students and readers on how much to season with salt and pepper, I loosen up considerably.  Seasoning is a very personal preference.  Some like just a sprinkle and others are a bit more heavy handed.  While I would never suggest skipping the seasoning all together, just how much to add can only be determined by your taste buds.  So taste away—and never season before testing first (yes, that goes for those of you who automatically salt a dish placed in front of you without even tasting it first!)  But most importantly, never, ever serve something that you haven’t tasted, seasoned, and tasted again.

“Season to taste” is also a call to a foodie movement.  Eating seasonally is more than avoiding those mealy mid-winter tomatoes hanging out in the produce section of the supermarket.  It is more than buying blueberries in July only because they’re on sale.  It is about eating quality food that tastes like it is supposed to taste because it is in season, all while supporting local growers.   The average piece of produce travels something like 1000 miles before it reaches your table, losing freshness, nutrients, and flavor.  Most food found at farmers markets was picked earlier that day, and travelled only a short distance in someone’s truck.  You do the math.  Farmers markets abound in most areas, so take advantage of the freshest stuff around!   Better yet, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or food co-op, where you get a portion of a local farm’s weekly harvest (more on that soon).

If you love food, love eating, love cooking, or just like reading about these things (much like watching the Food Network without any intention of ever making any of the dishes), check out “Season to Taste” for recipes, cooking tips, and kitchen hints.  Happy cooking!

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