While standing at one of my favorite greenmarket stands, I overheard a couple speaking to each other while gazing at the rainbow chard.
“Look at this. It’s absolutely beautiful,” one said.
“Yes it is,” said the other, “but I never know how to cook it.”
I apologized for eavesdropping on their conversation, and quickly explained that cooking rainbow chard is as easy as chopping it up and sautéing it with some oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and — if they liked — a squirt of fresh lemon juice. Then, I promised them that it would be delicious. They thanked me and bought a big bunch, as did I.
On my walk home, I wondered how many twenty-first century Americans believe they no longer know how to cook. It’s a shame that our society has become so intimidated by the concept of turning on a stove, throwing some fresh food in a pan, and seeing what happens.
So, if you think you may be letting fear keep you from expanding your culinary repertoire, buy something you’ve never bought before, bring it home, research a simple recipe or two on the internet, and give it a shot. Chances are, it will be easier than you think, taste better than you expect, and give you a well-deserved reason to pat yourself on the back.