Thursday, October 29, 2009

Food, glorious food!

I like to cook. I don't mean the flinging together something quick between sports practices cook. I mean, finding nice ingredients, thoughtful preparation, get creative kind of cook.

I'm not all that good a cook, in the technical sense. I make a lot of mistakes. My family can attest to the underdone poultry, the overdone rice, the experimental dishes (mock paella!) that just didn't pan out.

I rarely follow recipes. I often look at recipes, and maybe even several different ones for a similar dish, but I rarely follow one to the letter. I make modifications based on what is in my pantry, personal tastes of my family, or what is in season.

Food is glorious. As an artistic medium it is very forgiving, and has universal appeal. It brings people together and open minds.

I enjoy food so much. Won't you enjoy some with me?

I love to grill. I can make an entire dinner on the grill - even the bread. Here we have steaks, onions, mushrooms and asparagus. So yummy!
I even like to do broccoli on the grill. The trick is to give it a head start in a baggie in the microwave.

Aidan isn't into food quite as much as the rest of the family. I sneak food to him on the pool deck at swim meets.

Talk about ingredients! I grew this chard. It was one of the few successes of my garden. It was delicious.

More marvelous ingredients. This amazing piece of meet was something like a 2lb bone-in rib-eye, often called a cowboy steak. Notice there is just one. It feeds all of us, with roasted green beans, smashed potatoes and (brace yourself) a creamy sauce made from triple cream bleu cheese and lump crab meat. Oh my!
I also like to make cakes. Well, sort of. It's something I started years ago with the classic Barbie princess cake, and my kids have moved on from Barbie. Yet they still expect a "creation" each year on their birthday. This is from when Bridget asked for a cake "with zebras and monkeys!" Ray made the monkey. I "marbled" the cake so when you cut into it, it sort of had zebra stripes.

Then, there was that time where Bridget's birthday party was a night at the movies. She designed her own "red carpet" invitation and insisted the cake match. Now, before you start oohing and aaahhhing over these things, you must know that fondant is incredibly easy to work with. You just need to try. These cakes weren't that hard.

I also like the challenge of "omigawsh, the so-and-so's just invited us for dinner and I should bring something!" We don't live all that close to a grocery store. I have to pull this stuff out of my ass pantry sometimes. This is a leek and feta tart. I always keep puff pastry, phyllo dough and frozen pie crusts in my freezer. Very handy for producing something quickly that might look a little impressive.

Alas, most of my cooking falls into the cook-it-quick-the-family-are-starving category and I'm always on the lookout for fast, nutritous meals that will satisfy my picky son, foodie daughter and meat-and-potatoes husband. Any good ideas out there?

1 comment:

Papa said...

It all looks yummy!

Might I suggest for a summertime treat... Plant zucchini in your garden. After they're ripe cut in thin slices, BBQ with olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve with gin and tonic while floating in the pool!