Friday, May 19, 2006

Cooking

There's something about standing in my kitchen, moving back and forth between the countertop, the stove, the fridge and the trash can...cooking from scratch, that makes me feel very grounded. I spend a good amount of energy each week doing just that, since my diet forces me to do so, and now it's gone to a new level of necessity, even, what with the nut situation. Grounded. All the basic ingredients lined up in a row, and me, having done my research, casting the recipe books aside just to cook.

This is how I do it, you know. I spend a few hours on the comptuer, reading recipes. I look for common themes. I look for nuances. I look for consistency and differences. Then I look at my knowledge bank of food substitutions, and my awareness of what each ingredient DOES in a dish, and what I have in my pantry or fridge and I make plans. I might even jot down a few notes, ideas, scratches. But by the time I enter my kitchen, it's just me and the food and the tools.

But don't get me wrong. It's all out of necessity. If I could, I think I'd be a hamburger helper type of cook. I really do. I take fusion to a whole new scary level, just thowing ingredients into the skillet, topped off with some marsala spice, red pepper, and salt. Scary. And sometimes the result is...interesting, at best. Yesterday's green onion and tomato stir fry with marsala spice would have been good if I hadn't dumped some left over egg yolk into the dish (I'd made macaroons earlier in the week and only needed the whites). Next time I'll try the spice with the tomatoes without the eggs. So I learn

Today's culinary attempt was homemade icecream. I had to make a couple of subsitutions to bring it into compliance with my strict diet, but I managed to come up with something that very nearly tastes like a Wendy's frosty. Not bad for a first attempt.

And it's exhaustig work, cooking. Even something simple like picking the meat off a turkey carcass for eating later in the week sort of bring one back to the earth, in a way that opening a pack of sliced deli meat never will.

I'm just glad I didn't have to kill and pluck the darned thing.

3 comments:

Meg said...

I am sure that a lot your exhaustion comes from the fibromyalgia, plus having little ones constantly underfoot. I can remember a time, not too long ago either, when one of my kids would come to me with a question, and I would literally have to stand there and repeat the question back to them, word by word, so I could understand what they had just asked. Then they grew up, and now I have my brain again.

Plus the strain of not being able just to follow a recipe. Once you have a sizeable collection of recipes you can handle, you should consider publishing a cookbook for people with allergies. After all, lots of folks are in the same boat as you. Think about it as a possibility for after the kids are grown and gone.

Laura said...

I do alot from scratch because it's cheaper. It's also healthier. The "issues" I had with my cycle last year have lessened as well. I think there's a connection. I shop every two weeks, plan my menus for that amount of time and do a lot of coordinating of ingredients.

The cook book idea is a good one. I save all the recipes I print from the web in a binder, encased in sheet protecters because I am a messy cook. Save all your notes...it may prove very fruitful for you some day!

alana said...

HA! I never save notes. I just don't have it in me. Besides, where's the fun in that? I think I really do like winging it.

My kids aren't so little...youngest is about to turn seven. Oldest is twelve. They keep my busy but in a different way from when they were little ones.

But the fibro...yeah, that does slow me down quite a bit.