Tag Archives: cooking

Initiation of a cook

Even if you’ve been following this blog for the shortest amount of time, you probably have gathered that around here we love food. Though some of us are pickier than others, we have the utmost respect and love for food. All kinds. Sweet, savory, baked, roasted, raw, sauted. We love it.

And almost anything to do with food. I myself actually enjoy grocery shopping at times (depending on the store and the amount of other customers of course…). But there is a certain joy that comes from picking out (relatively) healthy food for your family. I’m a sucker for a good cheese display, I cave at gorgeous produce, I grovel at the feet of neatly packaged pasta.

I think Lucas just loves food. Mostly sweets. It’s almost sinful how the man can put away chocolate cake and nightly bowls of ice cream if we have it in the house (thank you Papa for those genes!). Fynn is following is his footsteps. But Fynn also loves the process almost more than he loves the food. He’s a huge helper in the kitchen – he’ll even be my assistant for dinners he wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole upon completion. I think he might possibly end up as some sort of a culinary expert… if he’ll ever expand his palate further than yogurt and crackers.

Paige… oh Paige. My little girl loves food. From day one. She nursed like a champ, and then took to solid food like it was sent directly from heaven. She’ll try just about anything, especially if it’s on mom or dads plate.

And today, she was initiated into the preparation side of food. We made pumpkin bread, and she was the assistant baker. It was, of course, much to Fynn’s chagrin that he wasn’t the one helping, but he was satisfied to sit with a bowl of oatmeal (that in itself is a HUGE food development!!!) so Paige and I took to the kitchen and didn’t hold back. Two loves of pumpkin bread were produced, as well as a new little baker.

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Christmas every Tuesday

Every Tuesday Lucas comes home bearing the best gifts in the world.

An entire box full of farm fresh goodies! We partake in a CSA (community supported agriculture). A local farm divides up some of their crops to members who pay for a share of their seasonal vegetables.

It’s one of the best things we’ve ever spent money on. Not only do we get our vegetables for the week, but we get things we might never ever buy at the grocery store. I never would buy fennel, or leeks, or chard on a whim. But we don’t control what they put in our box, so we have to get really creative in using whatever shows up on our doorstep. I’ve gotten really good at just throwing things in the pot, so to speak, whatevers in the fridge gets used before it gets old. I have dried herbs to keep through the winter, tried things way out of our comfort zone, and have generally been pleased with the results.

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Hacking through my soybean plant tonight I felt like some sort of pioneer… as funny as that sounds. I never would think that I’d be boiling baby soybeans at this very moment, but I am, and it gives me a great deal of pride. Almost every dinner we’ve had since late May has included produce from our CSA. Another source of a gread deal of pride.It’s almost like a game – how resourceful can you be?

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Receiving the box every week also makes me long for a garden of my own… I think about all the yummy things we could plant, and how much fun it would be to go out with the kids and harvest our crops. Maybe not a full garden, but someday I think I’d like at least a small one.

There is something to be said for fresh vegetables.

You can’t get anything closer to the earth, anything more nutritious.

Bring on the beets and edemame please!

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Never boast about your cooking

I think it was around the time this afternoon that I told Lucas how I was getting comfortable in the kitchen, and my confidence was skyrocketing, that the earth and planets aligned to conspire against anything I tried to cook today.

We had a really lovely afternoon – we spent the day at my friends son’s birthday party (he’s only a week or so younger than Paige), and had a wonderful time. The kids did well, we all were fed lots of yummy food and good cake and ice cream. We took the long way home so that the kids could nap, and Lucas and I had a chance to catch up and visit. That’s when I told him. Dummy me… I had to go and say I was getting confident in the kitchen.

We got home, and I dove into my afternoon project. Homemade pasta! Not just any homemade pasta, but beet & sweet potato stuffed ravioli. We had beets to use from our weekly box of veggies from the farm, and the recipe sounded easy enough.

Sounded was the key word.

I chopped up the veggies, put them in the pot to steam, and started on the pasta. Then it all went wrong.

The pasta wouldn’t stay together. I tried and tried, looked up online for things I could be doing wrong, and then tried some more. It was finally coming together when I smelled an awful, terrible smell. I looked to the steaming veggies to make sure they were done, and they were.

The bottom of the pan also looked like thisAug 23, 2009 041

I should have just thrown in the towel then. But I didn’t.

I finally got the dough to what I thought the consistency should be. I then thought the steamed veggies would totally be fine, even if the pan had gotten fried, so I moved on and mixed them with ricotta. I rolled out the pasta, filled it up, and put it all together.

My friends, the ravioli (or whatever you would call them) were not pretty.Aug 23, 2009 043

But I pressed on.

They took forever to cook. I’m not going to lie, I don’t think that I rolled out the dough thin enough. But after they cooked they were plated and doused with olive oil and Parmesan.

Lucas and I dived in at the same time (the children were spared thanks to how long this ridiculous process took, and they had leftovers from the night before… also pasta…). We looked at each other, and Lucas shook his head. He tried another bite, and literally spit it out on his plate.

I cannot blame him.

It might have been the chewiness that no decent pasta should ever have, or the metallic taste that I’m guessing came from the singed pot (because who knows how long it was really on the hot stove looking like the above picture before this cook noticed something didn’t smell right, and it wasn’t just the foreign scent of beets…). But whatever the reason was, the pasta ended up in the sink and we had Chinese for dinner.

Never, ever boast about your cooking, the universe does not like overconfident cooks.


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