"Cooking is so elemental, almost violent: knife, fire, chop, blaze.
These are war words, and kitchen words, too."
~Shauna Niequest, Bread and Wine
When cooking becomes boring, i quit cooking.
And when i quit cooking, we do not eat as healthily and we spend more money.
Therefore, i am looking for inspiration and tweaking my PLAN.
(i love to plan.)
i allowed myself the luxury of spending an afternoon going through a stack of my favorite cookbooks for the winter season and sticking post-it notes on what was appealing. Then i organzied the dinner recipes according to week night . . .and began a notebook.
is that odd? Sunday dinners are classics, slow cooking, and needing little attention. Chicken for Monday, seafood for Tuesday, soup for Wednesday, pasta for Thursday, and Friday is often take-out and Saturday nights are fun, easy, home-made fast food or child hood favorites.
To overcome my ennui . . .and that relentless, mind-stalling question, "What's for dinner?" i make up menus and grocery lists on Friday mornings. The girls and i meet with Wallace, our gentle and wise personal trainer, early in the morning on Fridays, and then after a cozy breakfast in a near-by restaurant, Lori heads for class and Jess and I linger at the table, me with sweet tea and her with coffee, and we plan. Our i-phones connect us to all of the recipes in a dropbox and on pinterest, and from the newly constructed menu, we easily enter items on a shared AnyList. Once we hit the grocery store, we go our separate ways, looking at the same list and watching the other cross off items as we go.
We begin dinner in a clean, clutter-free kitchen where items are neatly stored and labeled and the week's menu is printed on a dry wipe board inside the pantry. Sometimes we take turns, but most often we work happily side by side.
We listen to music or a re-run of one of our favorite tv shows, light the lamps when darkness encroaches upon the windows, pull out our cutting boards and Rachel Ray-inpsired garbage bowls and begin the chopping. Knife. Fire. Chop. Blaze.
Dinner sings from beneath our fingers.
And now and again, we miss, and our fingers sing (or are singed!)
Such are the perils of the cook.
Wallace, looking at the painful wound on my little finger, laughed and his words comforted me, "They say the sign of a good carpenter are bandages on his fingers. I guess the same for good cooks: burns and cuts!"
i smile as i type these words, realizing that my healing fingers are tapping with ease now, but last week, the turbaned pinky was held above the key board and trumpeted angry shrieks at me when i thoughtlessly touched it in such ordinary chores as making the bed or washing my hair.
To feel the pain all but gone now reminds me healing is taking place in other areas i cannot see.
Does that comfort you, too, my friend?
Last Tuesday for Dinner (fish night)
adapted from Better Home and Gardens New Cookbook
Spinach Stuffed Tilapia with Lemon-Chive Sauce (click here for recipe)
Wild Rice with Walnuts and Dates (click here for recipe)