Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yeah, baby!

We woke up to a chilly, cloudy day. Cool air was coming in through the windows, and by mid morning a light rain was falling. Ahhhhh!

M wanted a fire, and it was just the morning for it. I read for a while and basked in the soft comfy chair, with the fire warming my toes, and loving a lazy Saturday. Of course, we had to head out to Costco and the supermarket. It is kind of funny to explain to M why we buy frozen chicken breasts at Costco but not apples. I remind her that we don’t have ten people in our family, and that we would never be able to eat the apples before they would spoil. (A lesson that she was able to grasp much faster than her father!)

We made my favorite oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies. In the past week or so, I’ve been trying recipes that I’ve been wanting to try. I made a yummy bruschetta that I know I will make again, and tomorrow morning I plan to make a frittata. I bought a convection oven last year that I am only now getting to use, and I love how fast it cooks a chicken breast.

The whole time I was in California, I didn’t cook except for a few isolated times. My mother has her very large kitchen arranged in such a way that neither I nor my father could figure out, and she wasn’t about to let anyone interfere. I had only two tiny shelves to store my food, and one shelf in the refrigerator. Anything else I had to keep in my bedroom (like my cans of V8) or out in their garage in my refrigerator, which they also kept stuff in. It quickly became clear that it was not a fight I could win. I stopped trying to manage an unmanageable situation and lived on convenience food, prepared food, and restaurant food. That I gained a few pounds is not just attributable to my busy schedule!

I am getting a cheap thrill out of my rice cooker, my steamer, my countertop produce and my pantry. My favorite cookbooks – Sunset and America’s Test Kitchen – are seeing the light of day, and I am figuring out how to cook on an electric stove. (I’ve always had a gas range)

I love that M wants to help me with everything, and that she is learning the basics of how to prepare and cook food. We talk about how to make things and she helps me shop. By the time I was in junior high I could make dinner for six by myself. At times cooking has been nothing but drudgery, but when the rest of my life is making sense, I find that my love of good food returns and cooking is the pleasure it is supposed to be.

And damn, it smells good in here right now!


  1. Sounds like a good start to the weekend! It's been raining slowly but steadily here, too, and it's really nice, since it was so needed.

    Good work on teaching M about cooking, and nice that she wants to learn.

  2. Sounds like a perfect day!!!

    I love cooking and baking. I bought a convection oven last spring, however, and haven't used it once! Seriously, I can't figure it out!!!! I tried cooking chicken in it once and after it said "preheat" for like 20 minutes and NOTHING was even getting warm, I figured I was doing something terribly wrong.

    I love that your daughter wants to learn to cook. Morgan likes to try her hand at food prep and occassionally I just let her go wild which usually ends in some horrific, messy concoction that includes chocolate chips and marshmellows.

    OK, longest comment out....

  3. I'm emailing you my address so that you may send me some cookies. Thanks in advance.

  4. Frank: I love this weather, and eating cookies. It's good it isn't like this all the time, though, or I'd never make it out the door!

    Mala: The convection oven is completely different - non-intuitive. Email me and I'll coach ya.

    Samsmama: Wah coo-iefs? *gulp!* uh, they're all gone...

  5. Sounds like a wonderful day! I love to bake and cook too..when I have time. I've started training Bubba and Katie in the kitchen as well. They can make some mean cheese toast lol

  6. I get lost in looking at the photo of the chair by the fire place. It's chilly here this morning too.

  7. WOW - what a cozy scene! Baking, a lovely fire in a lovely new home, great company... it just sounds like heaven. SO glad you enjoyed your rainy day.