Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Things that make me love what i do

Winter is tough. Im not talking about shovelling sidewalks uphill while the snow mockingly continues to fall, wearing so many layers that walking becomes waddling and you can hardly see between your scarf and toque while the snow, again, still, mockingly falls. No, i am talking about the lack of things growing, and my serious lack of inspiration for cooking.

Last year i was devoted to the Winters farmers market, and lived off stored vegetables and winter greens. And it was blissful. This year, there is no market (well, there is, but making a living doesnt allow me to go...), and my mini deep-freeze, plum full of spring and summers harvest is in my home five hours away and i am simply not desperate enough to brave the snowy Coquihalla for frozen peas. There have been alot of anchovies lately. Too many olives. Way too much cheese. Definately to much California and beyond produce. I am feeling guilty and horribly uninspired.

Really, i cannot remember the last time that i truly enjoyed dinner. Its not all the well-travelled produces fault either. It has to do with not being in my own kitchen free to play and cook as long as i want; to the long commute to any decent markets, then the long commute back that leaves little time to cook what was intended with the market visit. It has to do with missing home. Even the bowls that i would eat dinner out of. It has to do with feeling completely passionless.

For you and for me, here are a few things that reassure me that I love, passionately, what i do:

-- new things on the tables of markets, revealing the season and providing new things to cook with.

--good bread

--the smell of gently sauteeing onions and garlic--pure therapy

--amazing three ingredient meals

--baking/eating cookies

--perfectly soft poached eggs

--olive oil

--risotto and its need for devotion

--softly whipped cream

--all things Italy

--new things curried or Moroccan

--cooking for or eating with others

--breakfast; uncomplicated, and enjoyed with the newspaper

--breakfast; slightly more complicated, enjoying fresh baked scones or pancakes

--after work "meals" (think peanut butter toast and eggs; leftovers; pasta; cereal)

--the after work drinks

--the before and during work cold cups of coffee

--when simple really does turn out to be best (or rather, not bothering with complicated for knowing that simple almost always turns out best)

There is not a career that i would rather be doing, i cannot even think of one that might replace anything to do with cooking, but right now, cooking is more work than it has ever been.