Food Blahs

I’ve been in a food slump lately. Passover is always a hard time, because so much is off the table, and I don’t enjoy baking with matzoh (I also have issues with making food seem like other than it is, ie matzoh meal or flourless cakes that are supposed to make you forget that it’s Passover). And over Passover I also started reforming my mindless eating habits, which is requiring a great deal more willpower than I expected. So to additionally cook or bake something that I won’t simply snack on and maintaining a full work, working out and reading schedule has been overwhelming. We’re also only finally coming out of winter, so produce is still switching over, meanwhile I lost my taste for winter vegetables (arguably my most favorite vegetables) a few months ago. Spring is finally here and I want to enjoy it, not think about food, or at least not actually spend time preparing it, because I’m always thinking about food (latest obsession: reading food books and researching yogurt-making). But for someone who could definitely be described as a more than casual foodie, my ability to eat the same thing for meals on end astounds me. Hopefully my taste for turkey, hummus and avocado (delicious when piled onto spinach and wrapped) won’t go the same way as my still recovering taste for mushrooms.

So…. it’s been a while. First R had the job that ate her life, and now I have (still do, actually).  But it is a new year and that means (re)committing to food and writing!

The past several months have held some interesting culinary adventures. First, there was the experiment with protein supplements, and developing gluten free bran muffins for my sister, a personal trainer and fitness competitor. Then there was the 2 week trip to China, which I’ll write about in another post. There’s been the post-China food withdrawal, and attempting to eat everything under the sun with chopsticks (fettucine alfredo defeated me). There’s been several heartaches, including some break-ups, some surgeries, and a death. Most recently there’s been 2 ‘polar vortexes’ with accompanying snow days and thus soup and grilled cheese. Plus the usual work/life imbalance, and it’s been busy, and generally food filled (gotta eat!) but not necessarily cooking filled. But for both R and I, cooking both contributes to the imbalance and helps set it right. We need to eat, but we also need to feed people. When we’re not eating, we’re thinking about eating, or thinking about feeding people, or actually feeding people. We just haven’t been as good about writing about it.

Kitchen Essentials, a Partial List

Apartment Therapy just had a feature on ‘What Appliance Can You Live Without?‘ which reminded me that I had started a post on essential kitchen equipment but never finished it. I find these discussions of what is not necessary more helpful than definitive lists of Things You Must Have because everyone’s tastes, abilities, skills and lifestyles are different, and for a new cook (or someone stocking a kitchen for a first time), knowing when to depart from such a list is difficult. More often than not, at least in my experience, the novice ends up with extraneous equipment that eventually need to be gotten rid of. Starting with just a single saucepan or frying pan is a way around this, but also greatly inhibits the successful composition of meals. Continue reading

Work Avoidance

M: So I may have picked out $250 worth of gin from various online retailers….. Please note that I have not actually purchased these items. Yet.
R: One. We only need one. Preferably a floral one.
R: One.
M: But they’re all soooo pretty……

Time

Oh my goodness.  When did it become the holidays?  It seems as tho just yesterday we were eating peaches and planning a summer bash and now fall has thoroughly set in.  I am by no means complaining – fall is my favorite season, and this morning I discovered a new apple (Splash? but I can’t find that listed) and tulip poplar honey for Rosh Hashanah.  But I haven’t finished posting my summer recipes, and now I have to think about the fall, and learning to get myself out of bed on cold Sunday mornings to buy produce.  Fall also means we’re less in need of cold storage but do finally need to get shelves and baskets for the winter squash, potatoes, onions and mushrooms we stock up on.  We have a grand redesign plan for the kitchen, to accompany the keep-it-organized plan for the living room.  I’ll try to be better about updating.