Food is one of the most important aspects of our lives. So much so that the fonder of Chik-Fil-A (or as some friends of mine call it: Jesus Chicken) made this quote one of the main missions of their company:
Food is essential to life; Therefore make it good.
-S Truett Cathy, founder of Chik-Fil-A
For our generation, being a foodie has never been more cool. We have been exposed to more–and more authentic–types of global cuisine than any other generation, something that has been proven in video
after video of people trying food from around the world.
And in video
of recipes–to say nothing of the cooking shows and the popularity of the Food Network.
The problem with most people who start cooking, though, is that they forget the most important ingredient–something more important than love: time.
It’s a lack of this that leads to dry chicken and burnt steaks. Rush jobs beget bad food like bad food begets total disappointment. That same disappointment is the thing that turns many people away from cooking in the fist place. It usually happens after a bad experience: sometimes caused by actually difficult ingredients of cooking techniques but usually caused by reckless disregard to patience.
There’s an expression I’ve taken to saying lately
If you’re going to commit the sin, blow down Hell’s doors.
Basically, it’s a more colorful variation of
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.
The willingness to craft
Absolutely, there will be times when there just will be no time and a Hungry Man frozen Christmas dinner for one will be the only viable solution. But those times need to be far and in between for a healthy psyche.
For food and for our relationships, we need to be willing to go out of our way to craft something worthy of us. Anything less than that is doing us a disservice.
What this means is being willing to take the time to make something good–and be willing to wait and make it right. With chicken, for example, the way to ruin it is to slap it on a pan on high heat. The burns the chicken and makes it shrivel up much like my appetite when you serve me that monstrosity.
Your chicken, your taste buds, and you deserve better. And the only difference between a sad chicken and a proper chicken is just a little bit of effort: it’s adding a spice rub that isn’t just salt and pepper and being willing to spend the extra time in front of the stove.
The same can be said for our lives outside the kitchen. Whether in our relationships with others or the world around us, a pinch of effort can pay off with enormous rewards.
Make it good. Make it great.
When Truett Cathy was talking about making food good, he knew that food stood for more than just nutrients between two buns and topped with the most delicious sauce known to mankind.
He knew he was talking about a social connector. He was talking about something that people gathered around to share intimate moments and kinship. In this case, the quality of the food affected the quality of the interactions of his guests.
Once again, there are nothing but parallels in our own lives. Taking the time to put forth just that little bit more effort might not seem like that big of a deal–bit is often more than enough to differentiate between good and great.
On that end, Mr. Cathy is beyond right.
The extra mile is not optional. It’s a requirement.
So just do it.
Speaking of great things, I’m supporting a friend’s documentary: Helen. It’s a story about how one man found his birth mother after being given up for adoption. Check out the trailer here. To donate, click here.
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Cover photo by veeterzy