I usually only call home when I have either really bad news or really good news to share. It’s true, I’m pretty incapable of making small talk or calling someone up just because.
And so when I do call home, it’s usually because I need advice, or am having a breakdown of quarter-life sorts, or both.
Perhaps the best advice I’ve gotten recently came from my dad. He said quite simply, in a time of my own personal distress, ‘Bec, don’t worry, you’re resourceful.’
After we hung up the phone, I walked back into the office and wondered what the hell he had meant.
The irony is that I later realized my resourcefulness when I was in the kitchen, cooking.
Resourceful, by definition, means having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties.
And sometimes, that difficulty is hunger.
When I’m in the kitchen cooking, I’m constantly pairing ingredients together and blending flavors. It’s about connecting. It’s that moment when I make a meal for my parents or friends without making a trip to the store and they’re suddenly and pleasantly surprised at my ability to make something out of otherwise ‘nothing.’
Fieldhouse Kitchen — cooking and entertaining with minimal space, supplies and money in a New York City studio — is, at its core, about being resourceful.
I’m sure my dad wasn’t referring to this kind of resourcefulness when I called him in distress, but I’m growing closer to understanding it, one kitchen experiment at a time.
When I was last home and was tasked with making some side dishes for dinner, this corn and tomato salad came to me with the ingredients I had around me at the time.
Here’s what you’ll need to use up that summertime corn (serves 2):
SUMMER CORN SALAD
- 2 ears of uncooked corn
- 1 tomato
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2–3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Begin by slicing the corn kernels off the cob. Dice your tomato. Add the lime juice, olive oil and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and stir.
It’s amazing how your problems can slip away over a proper meal.
So my advice to you, the next time you’re feeling stressed, anxious, worried, or just plain overwhelmed, feed yourself well. Because after all, as my good friend Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
And as for my dad’s advice, he came to me with career woes this summer as we sat out by the grill looking out at the water. I just smiled, took a sip of my wine, and said quite simply, ‘Dad, don’t worry, you’re resourceful.’
We then headed inside for dinner.