Sunday, May 09, 2010

On Not Cooking

Today I was thinking about all the effort I put into not cooking these days. I haven't succumbed to take-out or meals from the freezer or can, rather an endless stream of composed dishes that require very little effort. Salads with a poached egg. Roasted vegetables with toast and a poached egg or cheese. Slabs of good toasted bread with hot cheese, chunks of avocado, or a quickly fried egg. Hummus. Beans. Chocolate, lots of chocolate.

It is actually a nice, albeit simple, way to cook, because it shows me how far I've come. I used to be the kind of person who required a recipe. No recipe meant no dinner, or boring fare: a bowl of pasta with bland red sauce, a quesadilla with canned black beans and salsa from a jar.

I still love to cook from recipes, recipes give me most of my ideas. But I like realizing that I am slowly becoming the kind of person who can make something out of nothing. It makes me feel self-sufficient. The bad part? Nary a recipe in sight, which means there's little to share here.

But as I finish writing the book, this means of simple cooking is highly satisfying. I like shopping for fresh produce at my weekly farmer's market. Instead of planning meals I spend the rest of the week tiredly stumbling into the kitchen, throwing open the fridge, and figuring out something easy to make and eat. 

Take lunch, for instance. The pickings were slim. But I did have some good bread -- I simply can't live without a loaf of Acme Walnut Bread -- and as it toasted I found a small bunch of radishes in the fridge. Out came the good butter and salt, and before long I was slathering the pink jewels with butter, dipping them in salt, and happily watching the sun stream in through the windows. I could almost believe I was in France. Almost.

For the moment, at least, I am finding just as much joy in not cooking as I usually do in picking recipes, shopping, and cooking up a storm. I’m sure soon I’ll want to return to the kitchen, but in the meantime, my radishes and I are happy as can be.

1 comment:

Syrcause Pike said...

^_^ Same here for me... I have not been cooking for a long while...