Monday, July 25, 2011

Smitten in the Kitchen

We made a wacky cake a couple nights ago.  I just really wanted something sweet.  It was late (so late that we weren't able to wait up for it to cool so we just ate cake for breakfast the next day.  Shhhhh....don't tell!)
Wacky cake with butter creme frosting.
The next evening Matt made frosting and we each were going to have a piece.  I set mine down, got out the camera, took a photo of it, put the camera away, sat down, started to eat.  Matt says to me "So, is there a name for this disease you have?" 

Me (with confused look):  "What's that now?"

Matt:  "You know, where you HAVE to take a picture of your food before you eat it?"

I had to laugh.  He's got me there.  I  love, love, love taking food photos.  Or really, I just love, love, love taking photos.  Period.   (But, for the record I do NOT take photos of EVERY food I eat.)
Enchiladas featuring peppers, onions, beans, cheese, and homegrown spinach.  We use Matt's mother recipe for enchilada sauce which we enjoy because it is so easy, tasty, and most importantly comes from Mom!
No-Knead round.
I think I am still just absolutely smitten with cooking.  Or, more precisely, with MY ability to cook which was only discovered within the last couple years or so.  When Matt and I first got together he cooked 100% of the time.  I was basically a non-cooker.  Or, rather, I was a hamburger helper type cooker. The only non-boxed foods I was any good at making was spaghetti with marinara....though the pasta did come from a box so who knows if that even counts!
Falafel and green bean casserole.
Roast Vegetables...my favorite!

I derive such pleasure now from making home-cooked meals.  I sincerely think that if people knew just how easy it REALLY is then everyone would be doing it.  It is so much tastier and so much cheaper and, as an important bonus, I know EXACTLY what ingredients are in it. 
"Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla" cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World made for my mother's birthday and topped with jelly put up by my sister.
Basic whole wheat bread.
I always sort of assumed that if they made Minute Rice, frozen lasagna, Pillsbury biscuits, frosting in a can, etc that it was because those things were super complicated or time consuming to make at home.  In practice, I have found this is usually NOT the case.  Sometimes it is so easy I feel like an evil genius.  Like I know a special secret that not everyone does.  It is incredible.
Mushroom stroganoff with homemade noodles.

Spicy garlic stir fry featuring carrots, mushrooms, onions, and home grown kale and peas.
If you'd have told me this would be the case just a mere five years ago I would have laughed you out of the room.  I thought I hated cooking.  Turns out, I just didn't know anything about it!  Every skill can be overwhelming at the beginning while you are learning and struggling.  I still feel I learn something every time I am in the kitchen, but I very rarely feel lost the way I used to.  Quite the opposite actually.  I feel empowered.
Soft pretzels.
Black berry and mango sorbet.
It makes my soul happy to share meals brought together by own hand with my friends and family.  It is probably my favorite way to entertain and I feel it is one of the simplest and greatest gifts I can give those I care about.  Tasty, nourishing food shared over laughter.  There is so much love there and my friends always seem very grateful.  It comes as a shock to me to think that they might not eat a home-cooked meal at a table all that often.  I count my blessings for my home and Matt to share it with and all those who stop by for a visit!
Another spicy garlic stir fry.
Flax seed crackers.
In answer to his question I told Matt that I imagine the "disease" will wear off once I have years and years of cooking under my belt and the novelty and amazement has declined a bit. But, maybe the joy and pride I've found in the kitchen will never wane and that would be okay with me.  Good food is a work art.  It is beauty for every sensory organ.  It draws a connection to the hands that grew the food, the hands that prepared it for our table, and those who will be nourished by it.  Food is a rich, meaningful part of my life.  I think that is worth documenting.
Roast squash, garlic, and beans served with brown rice.

2 comments:

  1. LOL...tell Matt that I take pictures of my food, too, but not every time. Exbf comes to help me with things I cannot handle since I have a severe back problem. I take his plate away so I can take a picture when his plate is prettiest or I cannot eat because of pain and don't fix my plate.

    Maybe when you are an old hand at this, you should keep posting and taking pictures to post to inspire others. You may have a new career.

    Most of the things you cook I am not inspired to cook, but I am very impressed. I like meat! Your roasted vegetables and mushroom stroganoff look scrumptious. You crackers are enviable.

    Keep taking pictures of your food. Cute, Matt, your question...lol.

    At least you don't sniff each bite.

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  2. Looks like you have had some yummy meals in recent weeks. Matt's comments made me laugh. I often say to DH "you won't think I'm strange if I take a photo of your meal?" - and his response is always "I already know your strange:) Go ahead".

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!