i love to cook. it's creative, thoughtful, delicious, and my time to unwind and sort of meditate as i prepare something to nourish body and mind. i love to cook for other people. i love putting thought and energy into something that literally does those i love some good. but this year i've cooked very little. part of my payment is getting to eat for free at the cafeteria here at WA. the food here is good, and there is variety, and i'm usually bone tired by the end of the day and the thought of hot food with no dishes usually wins out. i've held to breakfast as my meal home and usually make some sort of egg something beings how i've got 5 laying hens. but sometime before thanksgiving break i hit a wall. a 'i don't want to eat my dinners in the cafeteria anymore' wall. and since the break i've made all my own food at home every night minus mandatory dress up dinner. it's been great. it's making me so happy. mostly i eat alone, quietly by my pretty christmas tree. some nights i invite someone to share with me. here are some recent meals gracing my table:
this is my made up mushroom and brown rice soup. i just sauteed a chopped onion, and cuisen arted a pound of two of small brown mushrooms, and then added them to the sautee as well as a cup and a half (or so, just what was left in the bag) of brown basmati rice. i sauteed all that till the mushrooms had let off a lot of juice, then i threw in a quart of my homemade chicken stock from last winter (still have bags and bags of it frozen), some bay leaves, rubbed sage, cracked pepper, sea salt and let it cook awhile till the rice started to soften. it got so thick it was almost like risotto, so i added some water .. . and some chardonnay (a couple of good sloshes) and let it cook till the rice was done. then i took one of those hand held blender thingies and blended it a bit. the result? deliciouso. very hearty and warming soup.
next up is my classic caramalized onion, gorgonzola, pine nut and rosemary pizza (on crust from the chez pannise cookbook) but this time i added some chopped up butternut squash i had lightly blanched. MMMMMMMM. so good. and i love the color the squash adds!
and last but not least, some dolces. ehsweeties. it was one of my advisee's birthday, so i took all those eggs that are over running my fridge and made a chiffon cake that was oh so light and fluffy with this amazing glaze that made it look, and sort of taste like a giant doughnut. the recipe was from my ever favorite cook's illustrated baking book. now it's time to gear up for all the holiday baking and making . . . gingerbread, marshmallows, and maybe some mexican pickled carrots.