© 2012 The Joy of Cooking Trust and the MRB Revocable Trust
I have a startling confession to make. We don't plan our meals.
At the moment, we're in the editorial phase of sketching out the next edition of the book, and while we are maintaining the blog and doing a little bit of recipe testing and development, we're mostly in a pattern of just cooking what sounds good at the moment, using ingredients we get at the farmer's market.
March has been all over the place here in the Pacific Northwest... sunshine, showers, sun-showers, wind, humidity, short-sleeve days and bone-chillers. What to cook? Dainty aspargus dishes are a few weeks away and a winter stew or braise seems as appropriate as anything.
I have a soft spot for things that are hard to love. Spreadsheets, mom shoes, stubborn people. In fact, I tend to gravitate towards them, probably because I feel like it's worth it in the end. As if the satisfaction resulting from something is in direct proportion to how difficult it is to love.
For many in this country, Saint Patty’s Day festivities almost invariably include a meal of simmered corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. As many have noted of late, this Irish-American feast has very little to do with how the Irish celebrate Saint Patrick.
Old man winter split rather early this year in the Pacific Northwest. We've been bathing in sunshine and rolling around in flower petals since mid-February. I know. It's pretty sickening.
One of the aspects of cooking that I like the best is the challenge of using everything. Much is made of chefs who turn radish tops into elegant appetizers or make pickles out of chard stems. But really, any chef worth her salt is always looking for ways to prevent food waste. Any food that comes in the door was paid for. Any food that is thrown away is like throwing cash into the garbage.
I've never been one to celebrate Valentine's Day. It's not that I have something against the holiday. I generally think that more reasons to celebrate love and kindness are good things. But then, you know how your car will make a noise for weeks, reliably, and then you take it to the mechanic, and the noise just stops? The same thing happens with romance.
In mid-December, we made the awesome decision to give 30 days notice and move into a new apartment. It was a snap judgment based on a strong desire for more space (try living and working in a 630 sq ft apartment--the charm wears off fast) and the knowledge that the apartment we desired wouldn't stay on the market long.
When John and I first met, one of the things that impressed me the most about him was his skill level in the kitchen. I grew up in a very traditional southern family in which the women were the cooks. Then, I dated a few guys who would cook, but more to the tune of instant mashed potatoes and haphazard stir frys than boeuf bourguignon.