If you love food and cooking (i.e. if you're on this website right now), it's very likely that one of your favorite websites and TV channels is Food Network and the Cooking Channel, and that public television isn't really something you watch regularly. However, public TV can truly be a landmine for food-related inspiration. 

PBS Food and Create TV truly exemplifies this. With their broad selection of cooking and how-to shows, I never know what interesting new dish or idea will work its way into my weeknight rotation. However, it isn't just their TV shows that are excellent, but their shorts and web exclusives, too.

I first came across a Kitchen Vignettes video after an episode of The Great British Bake-Off (yes, I know it airs stateside as The Great British Baking Show, but I refuse to compromise on the original title) as a bookend of sorts to the episode. After each episode, short excerpts of an unknown woman making the most aesthetic, delectable blueberry-lime layer cake with the freshest of ingredients in the most beautiful kitchen. After a while, this bookend stopped showing.

I did a bit of research and found out that this woman's name was Aube Giroux, a "passionate organic gardener who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates."

Giroux previously directed two documentaries for the National FIlm Board of Canada as well as several other independent productions. One of her more recent projects has been her film Modified, an investigative piece that attempts to answer why GMOs are labeled on food products in many countries except for Canada and the United States. Filmed during her mother's battle with cancer as an "intimate mother-daughter quest for answers," the film broadly explores the extent to which our food systems are controlled by the agricultural lobby and the practices they espouse, and calls for greater transparency in food policies. You can read more about the premise of this film here.

Her work has been featured at several international film festivals and many media outlets, and she has been nominated twice for a James Beard award in 2014 and 2015. She began her food blog, Kitchen Vignettes, as a way to "satisfy a growing desire to share recipes and connect with other food lovers" and to explore the way that food gets to our tables.

As college students, we are often caught up in "feeding our face," whether that be from a vending machine snack that we hastily shove into our mouths like chipmunks before our next class, or from dining hall food carelessly slapped onto our plates and fork-lifted into our mouths, or from a late-night UberEats order scarfed down in our dorm rooms. Even when it comes to home-cooked meals made by our family, little thought is given to the story behind how food gets to the table, even if you happen to descend from an agricultural family, as I do. For my father and his family, farm-to-table was not some concept designed as a price markup for items that the nouveau riche would buy; it was how his family had to eat to subsist on the meager salary of a clerk employed by the Indian Railway Authority. For my maternal grandmother, living without produce and dairy from their village plots was inconceivable, ruinous perhaps, despite their relative economic stability. So up until now, without even knowing it, I, as someone who lacks a green thumb, had the mistaken association of farm-to-table eating as emblematic, potentially exploitative, of those who farm merely to subsist, as the meager fruits of hard labor - thank goodness for industrialization!

Or so I thought. 

The beauty of Kitchen Vignettes is that each video short or photo series emphasizes the products of a harvest or a particular ingredients in all its glory. If one were to, for example, happen upon a video about maple syrup pie, every step of the harvest is documented in great detail, from tapping the tree, to processing of the sap, to storing of the finished product.

So without further ado, here are 10 Kitchen Vignettes videos that will inspire you to grow and harvest your own food (or at the very least, marvel in the immense beauty of the bounty of a harvest and the complex stories behind how food gets to your table).

10. Synda's Zrir

Giroux often writes in her blog about one of her dearest friends, Synda, whom she met on a cultural exchange in Tunisia, and their shared love of food and cooking. In one blog post, Giroux writes about how that bond was so strong that her friend decided to have her third child in Canada, the country she had grown to love. This dish is a sweet dessert served to new mothers after giving birth to help them regain their strength and help stimulate milk production and is also served to welcome visitors. Trust me, this is one of her sweetest videos ever, and you will get a bit (read: very) weepy seeing this.

(Interested in another recipe for new moms? Have a look at her groaning cake video.)

9. Beet Tarts with Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions

These beet tarts look just like roses and are an excellent way to show off a beautiful harvest of beets! Serve with a side salad (I reckon some blanched beet greens would be an excellent way to make the most of a good harvest), a drizzle of balsamic reduction, and perhaps a bit of za'atar along with your beverage of choice. You can find the recipe here.

8. Tunisian Spinach Rice

Watching this video brought back memories of watching my mother make Indian pulao and different types of South Indian vegetable rices as a small child. I've eaten eggplant rice, potato rice (yes, this is a thing!), and tomato rice, among other mixed rice recipes, but spinach rice is something I have yet to try. This looks like the stuff of packed lunch dreams - I will definitely be making this in my Instant Pot sometime soon. You can find the recipe here.

7. Daylily Fritters

You've heard of edible flowers, but did you know that daylilies are edible? In fact, every part of the daylily plant is edible, but Giroux decides to make use of the buds in a fritter reminiscent of fried squash blossoms. Recipe here.

6. Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Boring pasta? Not anymore! Switch up your marinara and basil pesto sauces with this fresh and delicious way to make use of red peppers. Recipe here.

5. Karen Washington's Swiss Chard with White Beans

This is another one of those videos that made me feel all of the feelings. Here, Giroux takes us behind the scenes of the work of Karen Washington, award-winning farmer, gardener, and community activist. This garden was created by her out of an abandoned lot in the Bronx as a way to combat the food desert-like conditions that low-income neighborhoods find themselves in and the numerous diseases that occur as a result of a poor diet, as well as a "collective lack of connection to history and culture as we become more and more distanced from the source of our food."

This healthy, quick, easy, and tasty recipe is a great way to use up the abundance of a swiss chard harvest and looks like yet another lunch of dreams (#packedlunchgoals). You can find out more about Washington's work and get the recipe here.

4. Lilac Coconut Cream Tarts

While we're on the topic of edible flowers, did you know that lilacs are also edible? Here, Giroux infuses their scent and subtle flavor into cream and combines it with the sweet richness of coconut in these tarts. These look absolutely perfect for a garden party or any outside semi-formal soiree (or, ya know, just an evening in the backyard, we're not judging if you eat these all yourself). Recipe here. 

3. Zucchini Lasagna

I've made an eggless version of this lasagna before, and trust me when I say it is SO GOOD. I REPEAT, SO GOOD. Recipe here.

2. Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake

This is the cheesecake of my dreams. Freshly picked blackberries are the star of this showstopper dessert.

1. Blueberry Lime Layer Cake

The video that started it all. Recipe here.

Hopefully these videos will inspire you to slow down as you cook, savor what you eat, and think deeply about the politics and story behind the food on your plate. I certainly have.

Follow Aube Giroux on Facebook and Instagram.

Watch videos from PBS Food and Create TV.

Find the Kitchen Vignettes playlist on YouTube here.