Monday, September 15, 2008

Dining In: The Horn of Plenty

Dear Mouse,

Yes, I still write for this blog.

The predictive text feature on my phone will not spell the word "Mango". It doesn't know it. It does, however, seem to know the word "ManHo". Make of that what you will.

Yes, it's been a time of discovery Chez Boo. Another thing I've been (re)learning about lately - the joys and benefits of regular Home Cooking.

I was thinking about something you said about maxing out on prepared foods -- ordered in or eaten out- during busy times. Not only is it bad for the wallet, but you mentioned that it also was bad for you in terms of... just feeling icky. (I may be misquoting here).

Since I, too, had fallen into this pattern over the last few months, my current houseguest and fellow Foodie (we'll call him the Gentleman Caller) suggested an experiment. As we are both, how you say, "between projects" at the moment, we really have no excuse Not to do this. No eating out - or ordering in -- for two weeks.

Like they say, culinary genius is simply Poverty plus Time.

Extremely Sexy Vodka-Spiked Cherry Tomatoes w/Pepper Salt (see earlier rhapsodic entry)

And now, a FAQ Section.

Doesn't it take time to prepare and cook all your own food?
Yes. However, it really, really does not take as much time as you think. (It does help to have a co-chef). Once you get in the groove, meals start assembling themselves.

Is home cooking really that much healthier than restaurant cooking?
Well, I can't say for sure, but #1: Due to extremely satisfying nature of meals, snacking decreased dramatically. We are both slightly smaller (and happier), despite cooking whatever we want. #2: I had a Starbucks Mocha after eating our food for a week (which included a cake). After I came to on the sidewalk (ok, the couch) from the unexpected sugar collapse I began to suspect there is WAY more sugar in prepared foods/restaurant meals than we all want to think.

Homemade Applesauce for the GC's Pork Chops, which took about 20 minutes and did not involve a blender or food mill.(Gourmet Cookbook)

Don't you get bored? Limited?
Turns out, necessity breeds invention breeds more than invention. When one ingredient, out of practicality, resurfaces in several dishes (ie, the cilantro in the strawberry salsa and in the salad... the hot peppers in the salsa that also made infused vodka for bloody marys) it lends a harmony to the whole experience.

Transcendent Wednesday Afternoon Republican Convention Pork Chops w/homemade applesauce and Raw Sweetcorn (Raw. Try it)

How did you grow as an artist during this experience? (Shut up, it's my FAQ section)
Turns out the same rules of collaboration when making good Art apply to making great Food. Specifically, the "Yes, and.." improvisation rule, where one must not say "No" to any suggestions, only "Yes, and-!", building on the idea. For example, the GC suggested a dessert he'd once had: half an avocado covered in salsa, eaten with a spoon. I liked the idea but just couldn't see tomato salsa in a dessert. I suggested strawberry salsa instead (Gourmet Cookbook), and a beautiful summer dessert was born. See?

Isn't the Gourmet Cookbook awesome?
It sure is, Mouse. It sure is.


The Boo

Hungry for More? Try This: Get 1 lb of strawberries. Hull and halve them. Toss in 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, few grinds of black pepper. Let sit at room temperature for half an hour. Toss once more and eat. Be transported. Excellent with Walnut Spice Cake w/Lemon Glaze from Gourmet Cookbook.

1 comment:

erik said...

"holy jeez, the torch!"