Thursday, November 10, 2011
Who Are You and Where Is My Wife?
Lunch Break On Flat Creek Trail - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
November 6, 2011
It happened almost one month ago and I'm still afraid that other woman is going to disappear, but decided to write about it anyway. Perhaps it was the wonderful influence from so many of you. Perhaps it was the first serious bout of winter like weather. Perhaps it was the final straw in my desire to know where most, if not all, of my food is REALLY coming from. Perhaps it was just time!!
Whatever the reason, it happened suddenly and Mr. B has now realized that the other woman is my kitchen who looks a lot like me really IS me. On Thursday, October 13, I stepped into the kitchen, started cooking and haven't looked back. The biggest surprise of all is that I'm having fun and that is a first.
A bit of background might be in order. My mother was/is many things, but a domestic individual was NOT one of them. She worked hard at the same job until she retired and was actively involved in many activities away from our home. Her mother died when she was two and although always loved, her life until she left for college was unstable at best. There was no one to teach her any type of domestic skills and believe me, to this day, she STILL possesses NO domestic skills. It is from her that I inherited my independence and innate love for travel. I am eternally grateful for that, but the downside is that she never taught either my sister or me how to boil an egg mainly because she didn't know how to do that herself.
It is no surprise that I am not, not have I ever been, comfortable in or even interested in spending much time in the kitchen. No surprise (or was it a miracle!! LOL!) that both my sister and I gravitated towards men who LOVE to cook and like having that responsibility!
Through the years, I've gone through spurts where I would make an effort to learn basic cooking skills, but I was an upwardly mobile career woman myself and simply didn't have time for anything else in my life, much less something in which I had no interest to start with.
So I was not offended when Mr. B was skeptical the first night he came in and a lovely dinner was waiting for him. Nor did I flinch when he laughed the second night he came in and dinner was waiting for him. But on the third night, when he walked in and smelled nice things from the direction of the dining room, he looked at me and said, "who in the heck are you and where is my wife?" We laughed so hard over that one and are STILL laughing three weeks later.
I should have kept a log of the things I've made
so you could be properly impressed just for fun, but I didn't and now, my aged memory is failing me! I also have tried to remember what triggered the whole thing. I THINK it was the first true cold snap we had and I decided early that morning I wanted soup for dinner. I wanted to use my crockpot and I didn't want to go to the store, so I had to have all the ingredients.
Enter allrecipes.com and its"ingredient" search. I put in my list and up popped 38 choices. I remember thinking, "ooh, what fun!" And several hours later, served what must've been good because Mr. B is still raving about it. We both love soup and he enjoys taking it for lunch, so with that first success behind me, I decided to try a new soup recipe each week this fall/winter. So far, I've made a Pasta Fagioli (which really did taste just like Olive Garden's), Bean Soup and Chicken Mushroom Soup. I've also made three different kinds of muffins/breads using fresh cranberries, blueberries and pumpkin I had in the freezer. I have made applesauce and restocked my freezer with fresh pumpkin. I truly wish I'd kept that log - you really would be impressed.
But here is the thing of which I'm most proud. I'm picky about what I eat and it's getting worse! I think the continuing list of wide-spread food borne illnesses across the US along with the ever increasing list of problems with food items that have been improperly stored and/or transported hundreds/thousands of miles has really made a final impression on me that I cannot overcome. I want to 1) know where my food has come from, 2) eat it in the purest form that I possibly can without added ingredients I can't pronounce or identify, and 3) support local farms/farmers. I don't want to eat apples I buy at Sam's that have travelled from Washington state when I can eat apples fresh from the tree that I buy at an orchard 45 minutes from my house.
So, if you'll excuse me..............that orchard is exactly where I'm headed today. The season is running short and from that orchard, I need enough apples to make more applesauce, more pumpkin and my winter supply of a variety of squash all of which I will purchase in full view of where it was actually grown!
And then, I've got a delicious dinner to prepare later this afternoon. Perhaps, we'll continue this subject in the next post. Mostly because I'm not done talking about it, but the sun has come up and my feet are itching to get to that orchard.
You guys, to whom I give partial credit for this, are going to have to help me. I am totally overwhelmed by all the resources available on the internet. How in the world do you choose recipes to try and then store or save them in a way that allows you to find them later? Right now, there are eight tabs open on my computer, six of which are recipes I'm afraid I'll not be able to find again if I close the tabs. My computer is about to explode!
Who taught you how to cook and do you enjoy it?