Monday, August 28, 2006

Kneading


Another food blogger recently asked-How do you know you are a foodie? I posted a comment back and then read a lot of the other comments. And then I thought about it some more. I really have no interest in snobbery or high class food. I am obsessed with fresh ingredients and the bounty of nature. I achieve another state of happiness when my friends or family share a meal around a table. I know I am a foodie because food (and the preparation of food) punctuates my life.

Food punctuates everyone's life right? Of course it does-the distinction is the motivation that leads to the cooking of the food. Everyone eats. Most eat several times a day. Some prepare their meals, some buy them. Some eat alone, some eat communally. I spend my minutes mentally preparing occasions for my loved ones. And, I would like to highlight the fact that-I am not, nor do I wish to become, a dexterous or flamboyant cook. It is most unlikely that any dish requiring twelve separate steps will ever be completed in my kitchen. I experiment with new recipes and techniques-but not for the complication of it or the rarity of the ingredient. I am after the experience of providing a filling, soul-healing meal to someone else or to myself. Which is my way of saying that cooking is one of my ways of dealing with life stressors. When the going gets complicated or I'm trying to delve into the depths of my twisted brain, I can usually be found in the kitchen.

The workings of your mind can be so convoluted. Here's what I made on a recent Sunday. Keep in mind that everything is from scratch-well, except the beans in the Minestrone-those were canned.

In order of appearance:
A pot of coffee
A pan of scrambled eggs with cheese
toast
Minestrone
Roast Chicken stuffed with lemons and herbs
Mashed Potatoes
Foccacia with roasted tomatoes
French bread
Ratatouille
Green Beans (also with lemons)
Chocolate chip cookies

The best part is, I didn't realize anything was bothering me until AFTER I'd spent the entire day in the kitchen. You see, I'm very in tune with my inner thought processes, extremely in tune, a paragon of happiness. Errr....right. Well, it was worth a try. You might wonder what is so unusual about spending the day in the kitchen? Well, nothing. Except I hadn't intended to make any of it the night before. No one was coming for dinner and I didn't actually plan the next item to be cooked. Rather, I finished with one thing and then thought "What next?". Very inefficient use of kitchen time. Did I mention that I also made everything in massive quantities and didn't have to cook for a week?

So, what was bothering me? I'm still not sure but I think there are some changes coming in my life. I recently moved (big change) and we're considering expanding the family. My husband started a new job, several of my coworkers have resigned-including someone I was very close with. I also don't have a garden in my new house (yet) and some of this energy would have normally been spent weeding or mucking about in the garden. Mostly, I think I'm reassessing things and trying to plot my course for the next few months. Until I figure it out, I'll probably have more thanksgiving-like feasts.

So, I know that I am a foodie because most of my solutions to life's problems involve food-chicken soup, kneading bread, sipping wine or clean green tea. I wonder if there's a clinical name for me?

3 comments:

ug said...

hey hu,
I just finished some online training at my new institution, and thought, I'll go check on hu. And for what it's worth, I relate to your "unrest." I had a similar day yesterday. new place, time to reassess and see if I like who I am, how I'm spending my life etc. tough stuff. But last night i got a good night's sleep and went for a run in the morning, and I'm like a different person. amazing how much sleep can make things better for me. I still need to answer those questions, but I'm not so worried about the answers today.
Hope you're doing well.

Anonymous said...

girlfriend, I luv your blog :o)

cairyll

Sucar said...

Wow! The other 2/3's of my brain are still in connected! Did you guys talk on the phone before reading this post? Anyway-love to you both and thanks for reading.