It’s women’s history month and it’s time to celebrate. Women have always had a special relationship with food, seeing as they and everyone else on the planet needs it around 3 times a day to sustain life. And through years of historical oppression, cooking and food was one of the few opportunities many women had to express themselves and their creativity, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because nothing really compares to mom’s mac & cheese. A curse because nothing really compares to 5 day old sunday crockpot soup either. But women have been changing history, lives, countries, and most importantly food well beyond motherhood and the suffragette movement and it’s time to recognize these revolutionaries.
Ruth Graves Wakefield, from Massachusetts was the inventor of the Toll House Cookie, the first chocolate chip cookie ever, which she created in 1938 and we’ve been craving it ever since.
Jehane Benoît, a Canadian culinary author, speaker, commentator, journalist, and broadcaster. After studying at the Sorbonne and the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, she started her own cooking school, Fumet de la Vieille France, in Montreal. She also opened one of Canada's first vegetarian restaurants, "The Salad Bar", in 1935. And it’s because of Benoit that Wakefield’s cookies haven’t completely ruined us, just yet.
Marika Hanbury-Tenison was an English journalist, cookery writer. Marika ate her way through her worldwide adventures. She's most famous for writing a book on the foods of indonesia “A Slice of Spice, Travels to the Indonesian Islands.”
Ina Rosenberg Garten is an American author, Emmy Award winning host of the Food Network program Barefoot Contessa. But she’s was recognized first as a former White House nuclear policy analyst. Only a woman could be an actual rocket scientist in the lab and kitchen.
Mary Ann Esposito is an American chef and the television host of Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito, which started in 1989 and is the longest-running television cooking program in America and still runs today!
Let’s be honest with ourselves, Black Americans have contributed far more to American culture than many care to admit or even are aware of. There are tons of inventions designed and perfected by African Americans that we use every single day. That red, yellow, and green light keeps us from plowing through each other on our way to dinner, aka the traffic light, was invented by an African American man with only a 6th grade education. Shout out to Garrett Morgan for saving so many lives we can’t even count ‘em.
A strong independent black man who don’t take no sass, actually invented the potato chip when serving a customer extra thin fries after getting a complaint for too thin fries. We basically have an entire aisle of the grocery store dedicated to George “speck” Crum and his sass now. Lesson: good things can come from being less than polite.
And the reason you can see your food while you’re shamelessly searching for a midnight snack in the fridge is because Luis Latimer perfected the light bulb for practical and regular use in homes, stores, restaurants and most importantly, the fridge.
Southern soul food is practically based on the soul they gave us! We use Alfred A. Calle’s invention every day scooping our ice cream for our fried ice cream dessert. Their fearless creativity to just mix whatever even if it might not make sense and their hope for the best, carved a path towards our famous fried chicken and waffles. The fact is, it’s black history month and we have a lot to more than a months worth to thank them for.
With the post-holiday blues just yesterday, this month is a great time to recognize the lovable things in life. Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, there are so many things to love! You can start by simply loving the fact that, you are able to even read this blog post. You have working eyes, english reading skills, and internet access! That’s actually really lucky.
And don’t forget to love both the good and the bad. You have love your mistakes and the mistakes of others to truly appreciate the lessons that made you better because of them. After all, how could you know life is actually all that good, if it’s never really been bad?
The love you share for your friends, family, and those who support you is a love that could never go unnoticed. They help you make cherished and sometimes crazy memories to love and remember.
The love you hold for what you have now is one of the most important feelings to keep in your heart daily. Loving where you are now, even if it is difficult, it couldn’t be worse than actually being dead. Unless you’re reading this from the undead, then I apologize, but would also like to note, you don’t pay bills anymore, soooo… Love for being present in such a crazy advanced time on Earth and in the US.
Loving the potential memories to be made. Love for the potential growth to be had, the potential jokes to be heard, potential sights to see. Love for the potential desserts to taste and foods to gush over. Love for the potential Station 22 mac & cheese and chocolate cake. For self love of course.
A healthy life is a balanced life. Balance in spending vs. earning. Balance in nights out vs. staying in. Balance in companionship vs. alone time. Balance in physical activity vs. rest.
Balance in healthy greens vs. mashed potatoes. Balance is important to help appreciate all things in life. You have to remind yourself of what the other side is like otherwise you can’t appreciate it as much. Just like the 4 seasons. Long summers help you appreciate the cuddly and cozy winters. While blizzards help you appreciate the natural vitamin D and flowers. And excessive family time helps you appreciate your alone time. While alone time reminds you how awesome your family and friends are. Camping helps you appreciate the natural beauty of the planet, but also reminds you that mattresses and pillows are also a beauty.
But the most important balance and ultimately the key to a happy life is a healthy balance between entrees and desserts. Admittedly it’s one most of the most fragile balances everyone needs to conquer. And keep in mind, balance does not mean equal in all things. Eating a pound of greens does not necessarily make up for the pound of mashed potatoes you ate yesterday (lesson learned from personal experience). So anyone that attempts to balance their quarter pounder and fries with a quarter pound of apple pie and ice cream, will indefinitely throw up, it’s just physics. Balance between a savory dinner and sweet dessert just means reaching neutral. And you don’t need a quarter pound of apple pie to reach neutral.
All you need is a sweet reminder of what the opposite is like. Like cheese and wine but a lot cheaper! Similar to a frosty with fries, but fancier. The epitome of balance is probably one of the more peculiar but more well known combinations. The classic american breakfast. The bacon & waffles. No logical person can argue that the american breakfast has hit it’s prime right when that maple syrup barely kisses your juicy bacon. That sweet touch on a strip savory goodness just makes the savor explode into fireworks!
And what could be more exciting than a firework breakfast? I have four words for you: Waffles, Bacon, fried Chicken. The fried chicken just adds that booming live music to your fireworks show. Some say, that’s not balance at all. That sweet waffle batter covered in delectable honey maple syrup hugging the seasoned fried chicken have been known to conjure the balance one can only find in eternal happiness.
So you’ve been eating yourself silly for the past two months, maybe three if you love yourself extra. And it’s January now, time to get back on track with work, health, and resolutions, and blah blah blah.
So what’s the next step then to actually attain your New Years Resolution? (like you mean it, for real this time.) Probably getting rid of that last bit of holiday memories, the Christmas leftovers that may or may not be moldy. And then on to the healthy eating phase. Eating things that appear to be more green in a natural way. And if you’re like me, a full blooded American, salad 3 times a day is not an option. Nor is paying someone else money to run for 10 kilometers at 5 in the morning. If it’s not for a good cause, like why would you do that to yourself, and your wallet? But you’ve also seen the “SuperSize Me” documentary and know doing the opposite of a 10k doesn’t actually seem all that enjoyable either.
So where’s the middle ground? Of enjoying yourself healthy? Because let’s be honest, eating healthy constantly is not a trial all of us are ready to handle let, alone meant to bare. And if lettuce was as savory delicious as a bacon burger there would be absolutely no problem.
Well I have bestow upon you a blessing called healthy cheat day. If you kinda try a little bit 4 days out of the 7, it’s still progress because 4 is bigger than 3. The old 3 steps forward one step back track; in the end you still got two steps ahead and that definitely counts for something!
But the trick is keeping is a healthy cheat day. How is that possible you ask? If you’re cheating it should be terrible for you, hence the cheat? Wrong. Kind of. If you use healthy ingredients in your cheat meals than it’s the whole first 3 pounds lost better, and easier to keep up with. Wholesome healthy ingredients equals healthy no matter the end result, it’s doctrine.
That’s where we, Station 22 Cafe, comes in. Cheat day or days (no one’s judging) we can guarantee we’ll have healthy ingredients in your favorite cheat day classics, because healthy organic ingredients is literally all we’ve got in the kitchen so… Your cheat days are safe with us. So is your New Year Resolution. You can even walk around beautiful Downtown Provo before or after your cheat meal and it’ll be like it never happened! Or at least we won’t tell anyone ;)
Christmas is on it’s way. Which means there’s a lot to be made. There’s crafts and DIYs to made for decking the halls. There’s the boxes of décor years past thrown where you can remember to find them again for new years. And of course the kids homemade Christmas cards. Just a little bit of wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows strewn everywhere. And that doesn’t include the Christmas treats and gifts for school teachers, neighbors and close friends. So there’s a solid chance your kitchen is probably, definitely going to be a mess if it isn’t already. And let’s be honest with ourselves, you’re kind of going holiday crazy. But just a little bit because you like to keep it classy. But then you resort to drive-thru again cause the table and kitchen is currently being used as a Pinterest studio and you can’t afford to miss the Christmas lights of Downtown Provo and the new Provo Temple right when it’s just warm enough not to scream on the inside. And then you wonder, “Is there such a thing as too much holiday drive-thru?” The answer is, yes, yes there is. But it’s ok, everyone does it. Everyone has a weakness. Everyone has very necessary winter weight. It’s how you put it on that matters, and you deserve better than the 8th drive-thru with all your hard work preparing for the big morning and all. How about a compromise? Christmas lights and a meal that you deserve, at Station 22 Café in Downtown Provo, right across the street from the Provo Temple lights on your Christmas checklist anyway. I get it, who has time to sit and take off all 6 layers of coats and sweaters when there’s packing and wrapping to do? We got you! We can have your to-go order ready and hot while you’re checking off the Christmas wish list. Don’t stress, don’t fret. You got this holiday season in the gift bag! You got this! We got this! So please, don’t do drive-thru, you’ve been good all year and you earned more than the food version of lumps of coal.