Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The True Joy of Cooking

 Even though fall has just begun I can feel winter winds plotting their return. I love to sit in my comfy chair on a cold evening and keep warm, with a cup of something hot, and a good book. I like all kinds of books but, what I really love, is a good cook book. I read cookbooks the way some people read a novel, from front to back. My whole family does this. I am certain it's an inherited trait.

That is what I went for tonight and it got me thinking. I'm not that good of a cook really. That isn't false modesty, just a fact. When I cook vegetables, that is what they are when I am finished- cooked vegetables. Nothing exciting. I don't have that touch. Boy does almost all of the cooking. I think he learned to cook because of my lack of culinary prowess. But, he is a damn good cook. I use to love going out. I don't even like to eat out anymore, because we couldn't even afford to eat at the places that would serve food the way he does. And why pay for anything less? So, that is just fine with me.

 My love of food is so great, I think it must be in my top three things that I love- God, family, and food. What else matters really? I'm ashamed to say that sometimes the order of this gets muddled. I have to watch myself so I don't slip into complete gluttony. And, since making dinner tends to be boys thing, I have to find other ways to exercise my need to be involved in the food making process.

 I garden. Not only does it help me to keep somewhat fit. It is meal planning at it's finest. When I am planting my tomatoes in the spring I am planning for my tomato sauce in the fall. Planting radishes today, so that I can have radishes in October. Thumbing through seed catalogs in December...you get it, right? So, while Boy might cook the food, I provide the first step in the process.

I shop. Most woman can't wait to get to the mall for some sexy heels. I can't wait to go buy some peaches. In the past few years I've begun to shop at farmers markets and u-picks for the things I don't grow.

I bake. I love to bake bread. It's one of those sensual and simple things that really makes me happy. It is like magic. You throw some flour with some water and yeast and suddenly you have this living growing, mass on your counter. The feel of the dough, the smell of the yeast, the warmth of the oven, mmm....the taste of warm bread. Wonder Bread can kiss my ass.

I can. No, I'm not about to go into some kind of self motivating speech, I mean I preserve foods in a hot water bath. It's fun, the jars look gorgeous all lined up in my cabinet, I get a bit of steam facial, and it makes our own convenient food. Open a jar up and there you go. Still can't can low acid veggies and meat. Because, I don't know how to use a pressure canner. It is on my "must learn list."

I experiment. I have a lot of "experiments" going on in my kitchen. I'm always trying something new. I don't really count them as cooking since it usually some odd ingredient, new fad, or process I'm playing with. Some fail horribly, some turn out quite tasty. I make yogurt on a regular basis now.  However, I don't know that I will ever make fermented fish sauce again.

I have always loved food. But, leaving the workplace and starting a family is what really got me started with all this homemaking and "experimenting". So, honestly I haven't been at it very long. Boy too. When I met him his idea of cooking was ordering pizza or boiling noodles. Instead, of buying everything to make dinner(or buying dinner itself), we are a part of the process. I make the buns and he cooks the meat. I grow the cucumbers he finds 1000 and 1 ways to prepare them. We no longer pay someone to live our lives for us. We're learning and growing. Being involved in making our own food is nourishing on so many different levels.

I'm off to find a good book. "Joy of Cooking", perhaps?

No comments:

Post a Comment