Tag Archives: Ron Askew

First Lady Shares Common Sense

A portion of the speech delivered by Michelle Obama at the National Governors Association meeting in DC, passed on to me by my friend Chef Ron Askew rang familiar bells.  How many of you remember running around outside twice a day when you were in elementary school?  How many of you don’t?!  I did.  I went to elementary school back in the dark ages when girls had to wear dresses.  We always had a spare pair of pants to put on for recess so we could spin around on the chin up bars.

And when you got home from school what did you do?  Like Ms. Obama – I was sent outside to play and told not to come back until dinnertime.  This spurred endless games among the kids in the neighborhoods.  Kick the Can, softball, jumping on old inner tubes.  I never remember watching TV until after dinner and only if I had no homework.  What did you do?  What do your kids do?

I also love what she says about home-cooked meals and fast food.  Michael Pollan says it is fine to eat all the junk food you want as long as you make it yourself. Ha! He knows.  Nobody can make Cheetos or Coke Zero in their kitchen.  French fries are quite a task.  Here’s part of the First Lady’s sensible speech:

“But we all know that there’s another set of statistics that have to be a part of this discussion — like how nearly one in three of our children in this country is now overweight or obese. Like how one in three kids today will eventually develop diabetes — and in the African American and Hispanic communities, the number is nearly half.

But we have to begin by understanding how we got here, what’s caused this crisis in the first place. And I have my theories, but when you all think about it, this is a relatively new phenomenon. This wasn’t something that we were dealing with when I was growing up. Back when we were all growing up, most of us led lives that naturally kept us at a healthy weight. We walked to school and we walked home, because we usually lived in communities where our schools were close. All of us ran around all day at school, doing recess and gym because everybody had to do it. And then when we got home, we’d be sent right back outside and told not to come back home until dinner was served. You know your parents didn’t let you in the house.

And back then we ate sensibly. We had many more home-cooked meals. That was the norm. And much to our dismay at the time, there was always something green on the plate. Fast food and dessert was a special treat. You had it but you didn’t have it every day, and the portion sizes were reasonable. In my family I remember a couple of pints of ice cream — this was a big treat — we’d get three pints of ice cream for a family of four and that would last us a week, because you wouldn’t eat a pint, you’d get a scoop, and that would be it. You’d savor that a spoonful at a time.

And these weren’t arbitrary rules that our parents just made up. As we know now, it was a way of life they imposed to help keep us active and healthy. They knew back then that kids couldn’t and shouldn’t sit still for hours. They knew that kids needed to run around and play. They knew that keeping us healthy wasn’t about saying no to everything, but it was about balance and moderation…but somewhere along the line, we kind of lost that sense of perspective and moderation. And we all want the very best for our kids just like our parents wanted for us.”

Cookus Photo Contest! Win a Furi Pro Knife.

As a professional cooking teacher the most important tool I own is my knife. One good chef knife can do most cutting jobs in the kitchen.  Often people who are very talented cooks spend a small fortune on knife sets but never feel like they are working with Mr. Right.   Let’s make a lifetime marriage for one lucky cook.

When I put my paw on Chef Ron Askew’s 7″ Furi Pro East/West knife it was love at first handshake.  The secret to the Australian designed Furi knife’s success is its one piece stainless steel construction.  This means no handle gaps or crevices, no rivets or pieces that fall apart.  The patented tapered handle gives a strong grip even with wet or oily hands. That curvy sleek handle and the sleek sharp blade make slicing and dicing not only effortless, but pleasurable.  Our bookstore at Bastyr University carries these knives for our students in the Bastyr Culinary Arts program.  “This is the knife I use 95% of the time for work and play.” – Chef Ron.

Back to the lucky cook.  Chef Ron has gifted Cookus Interruptus with one of these amazing 7” Furi’s to give away to one of our viewers.  Retail value of the knife is over $100. 


Here are the rules:

  • Take an artful photo of any dish using a recipe from Cookus Interruptus.
  • Submit your photo as a comment to this post.  No words needed, just pictures.  Photo must be in jpeg format.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • Deadline is December 21.  Winner will be chosen by contestant receiving the most votes from the Cookus Interruptus creative team (there are 7 of us) and announced December 21st.  Merry Christmas!
  • If you don’t want to do the photo thing or are concerned you won’t win but REALLY want a knife (trust me, you do), CLICK HERE and purchase one from our friend Chef Ron at Culinary Cultures.  And if you want to keep your knife smiling, grab a Tech Edge Diamond Fingers knife sharpener (which also comes in a cool pocket model).  I’ve gone through 3-4 different types of knife sharpeners.  This one is the easiest to use and works the best.

Good luck!  We’re looking forward to seeing your photos!