Eating In

Scene: Our bed
Players: The Lovely Couple
Time: 8:30 a.m., 10/28/2015
The Mood: Utter and Complete Laziness

Mr. J (while reading Flipboard): Where should we go for breakfast?
Me (snoozing): Mmmmmmm??
Mr. J: Or should we eat at home?
Me: How many eggs do we have? Or maybe just cereal and a smoothie?
Mr. J: On a Saturday?!
Me: Well, we do have kale in the garden. And maybe there are still some egg whites.

(30 minutes later)

Mr. J has motivated while I debate staying under the flannel sheets all day. My internal dialogue is soon interrupted by the siren aroma of coffee and the clanging and banging of dishes in the kitchen. I am slowly lured up and at ’em.

By the time I finally make it downstairs, Mr. J has chopped up freshish peppers from the garden, ’shrooms from the fridge, those last two pieces of bacon I never did use for those Brussels sprouts, and some onion and garlic. I scramble together the last two eggs, the rest of the egg whites, and some milk, while Mr. J fries up all that goodness in an olive oil/coconut oil mix.

I venture to the garden to dump the compost material and return after harvesting some kale and arugula to be tossed into the mix. We let it all cook down a bit and then in go the eggs with a little turmeric and salt and pepper for taste. Turn down the heat and let it all cook up frittata style while I research what the hell to do with all those pounds of peppers we’ve had explode in the garden the past few weeks.

Turn on the broiler. Once the sides are a little brown and the top is almost set, sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and throw it in the oven.

Broil it up … but don’t forget about it! We don’t want to burn down the kitchen. Check on it soon after to see the top turning to a beautiful golden crustiness. Ready to go.

Serve it up with a perfectly ripe avocado and a little Amarula in the coffee. The perfect pre-World Rugby Cup breakfast.


Encroaching Hangriness

Scene: Living Room Couch
Players: The Lovely Couple
Time: 5:30 p.m., 10/20/2015
The Mood: Encroaching Hangriness

Me (while playing Solitaire on my phone): We really need to go grocery shopping.

Mr. J (while watching Isle of Man racing videos on his phone): It’s silly to go now. You’ll just get swamped by the post-work crowds.

Me: But I’m starving and we have nothing to eat!

{15 minutes later}

I finally get up off the couch and try to scrounge up whatever I can find from the fridge. I’ll deal with grocery shopping another day. Fiddle-dee-dee.

Leftover rice salad? One egg? Frozen solid chicken thighs? No. No. No.

Dig a little deeper. Oh wait—we have some bacon! Oops, only two pieces. If I were single, it’d be perfect, but it’s not nearly enough for two starving adults.

Wait, what’s that in the back of the crisper? A package of Aidells Andouille sausage, leftover from Sunday’s overly salty gumbo. (Sidenote: The Food & Wine recipe for the gumbo was probably delicious, but I made the fatal error of using “Better Than Bouillon” in place of fish broth. Sooooo very salty!)

Oh, and look at all these veggies. Cauliflower, carrots, garlic, red onion, mushrooms.

Are mushrooms really considered a veg? Whatever, in they go!

Mr. J gets in on the action and “discovers” eggplant and banana pepper, which have been sitting in big silver bowls on our counter so long, after being harvested from our garden, that I don’t even see them anymore.

Mr. J: Should we throw in some Brussels sprouts?

Me: Nah, this is plenty. [If I can get that bacon to make it until tomorrow night, I will fry it up with those sprouts for a tasty side dish … perhaps for those frozen chicken thighs … which I should probably take out to start defrosting now.]

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a pan with parchment for easier clean-up and spray it with coconut oil. Chop up all the veggies … and the ’shrooms. Toss them with some olive oil, fleur de sel (imported by moi from France, mais oui), throw on some Creole seasoning (also leftover from gumbo night), and throw it in the oven.

Let it roast while I play with the dog, clean up the dog poop, admire the canna lilies, scrub my hands three times over (just in case), do some dishes.

When it starts smelling good, check it all out. Sizzling and getting golden.

Time to sear up those sausages!

Serve it all with the last bits of leftover rice salad, some Mr. Mustard (sent as a Christmas gift every year from Mom), and a bit of our own local winery’s (Cinder’s) Laissez-Faire white.

Another day of grocery shopping successfully averted!

p.s. Next up is to learn to be a better photographer, as there is nothing more unappetizing than bad food photos. So for now, I’m using related but unrelated images that at least look pretty.

I Say I Want a Revolution

As my last post indicated, there is so much I want to do in this world for this world. But the one that I keep coming back to is the food. I love food. I love cooking. I love sharing food with those I love. All this from the girl who 15 years ago easily burned toast and didn’t know how to fry an egg. I’ve come a long way, cookie!

Even then, when I often confused the word stove for the word oven (oh, wait, I still have to think of “stovetop stuffing” to remember that the stove is on top) and didn’t know a pot from a pan, I would watch endless cooking shows on PBS. In part because I loved watching people create good food, but mostly because I didn’t have cable, and when I came home from work or lounged away on a weekend, that’s all PBS had to offer.

So what about food do I want to revolutionize?

Nothing, really. Food is great. It doesn’t need a revolution. But our mind-sets toward food need some tweaking. I know we are all crunched for time. I know it’s a struggle just to get everything done in a day that needs getting done. But what if we looked at food preparation and cooking from a new angle.

It doesn’t have to be a chore. It is not a task for just one person in a family to do to nourish all the others. What if we treated it like settling in to watch a family movie or sitting around a board game? What if it was another opportunity to be with family and friends? I don’t have kids of my own, but I watch my good friends letting their kids get their hands dirty to help with pancakes in the morning or getting the bread ready for grilled cheese sandwiches at night. We can teach them from a young age the joy of cooking for themselves and for others.

And it doesn’t have to be a big fancy dinner each night. Even if it’s just boxed mac and cheese, why not roast up some cauliflower in olive oil and toss it in? Once roasted, that bitter flavor disappears, and if it’s broken up into pieces and coated with cheese sauce, no one will be the wiser that they are ingesting a healthy (well, not quite as healthy as it was) veggie.

But what plagues me is how do I achieve this revolution? I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a chef. I’m not even a consistently great cook. There are hundreds of great food blogs out there already. Will I just be another one thrown into the mix?

Well, I don’t know. For now, I’m just going to do some blog posts about recipes I’ve thrown together when I thought I didn’t have time or didn’t have a thing to eat or just didn’t feel like cooking … only to find that it doesn’t take much time, I often do have enough to eat and, just as with exercise, once I start cooking, I totally get into the process and enjoy it.

OK, so I’ll blog about it. But who’s going to read it? Well, that’s the next, big, scary step, isn’t it? I’ll have to let people know what I’m doing. I’ll have to share my blog with total strangers, as well as family and friends. And then I’ll have to see what happens next.

It’s not a job. It’s not a money maker. But it’s a passion!