What is the provident table? It is a place where food is salubrious and tasty. At the provident table, the diners are aware of where their food came from and how it fits into their dietary and financial budgets. The provident table is sometimes laid for celebration but is more often set with the makings of homey, practical meals that require planning but not excessive finesse or time. The provident table is a place where one feels good and understands that his or her food choices impact far more than a waistline, for food is at the core of tradition, survival, and global citizenship. The provident table has a place for you.
The provident table does not exclude guests whose dietary restrictions may be different than your own. The recipes employed at the provident table can be easily customized to meet the needs of guests or allow you to explore new food options that may interest you for economic, health, or environmental reasons.
When you prepare food for the provident table you learn basic principles that allow you as the cook to exercise creativity in the kitchen, which is essential to assuage culinary ennui. The cook who prepares food for the provident table plans and purchases ingredients with purpose; and, thereby experiences far less waste or inconvenience due to missing ingredients.
The provident table can be either quick and simple or more complex, depending on your daily schedule. It does not depend on ingredients that would have been unrecognizable a couple of generations ago; rather, it is built with the staples that cooks have been employing for centuries.
I invite you to come and dine at the provident table. Come to learn and experiment. Come to develop your cooking style and repertoire. Stay to enjoy!
© Katherine C. Otterstrom, June 2012