Cooking

June 7, 2009 at 9:53 pm (Memoir) (, , , , , )

I cook for no one. Not even myself.

I make food. I do the basics well. Meat, potatoes, vegetables. I make a mean chili. It’s my signature dish. I mean how can you go wrong with chili; throw in some meat, tomatoes, spices and whatever else you have kicking around the house. It’s a great clean the fridge type of meal!

raspberry 1

I eat. I know I have to eat. But nothing I make inspires me or tickles my taste buds.

I don’t care what anything tastes like right now. Except maybe raspberries.

When I was married, my husband cooked. This was during my brief Hollywood marriage. (We knew each other for five years and were married for two). I worked days, he worked nights. I loved not having to think about meals. I would come home to good, basic meals and would then be left with the clean-up. Which, honestly, I felt to be a fair trade. He was much more excited by food and meal prep than I ever was.

sign

He made a mean Farmer’s Breakfast. For those of you not familiar with this dish, you need a cast iron frying pan, eggs and leftovers. You beat up the eggs, pour them into the frying pan, slice up leftovers (potatoes, onions etc) into the mixture, fry it on the burner until the bottom is somewhat firm and then put the frying pan into a 350 degree oven until it is baked and firm. (I take no responsibility for if or how this turns out if you try to make it based on these directions. Remember, I don’t cook!) Bliss. And always different.

My boyfriend, in Montreal, F cooked about half the time. He lived at home and had never been responsible for meals on a regular basis so was quite excited to experiment with flavors and textures.

frying panI still remember him making a sauce, out of the leftover cherry wine that I had in my cupboard, for the pork chops. The wine came from his older sister, whom I never did meet,Ā  as a housewarming gift for my new apartment. I had barely drank any of it so it sat in the cupboard for at least a year before F used it to enliven the pork chops.

Not something I would have thought of. Wine was not something my family cooked with. For one, we never had any sitting around the house as it was too expensive and two, booze was for drinking not cooking. Another reason it was not in my mother’s house as my father was an alcoholic and when he left the booze left also.

I started being responsible for meals as a young teen. We depended on our garden for most of our food. Thus, potatoes were plentiful as were vegetables. Meat came from the local farms, usually provided through the grandparents or barter, so usually consisted of beef or pork. Fish was constant, as well, because there were many lakes nearby and my mother’s father loved to fish.

I learnt that meals consisted of plenty of potatoes (boiled, fried, bland); vegetables (boiled, bland) and meat that got the heck fried or baked out of it. No rare meat ever sat on my childhood table. šŸ™‚

So, I can throw a bland meal together in a matter of minutes and then cook the heck out of it. I always burnt the hamburgers and the fried potatoes. As the local delivery persons could attest to – the delivery schedule coincided with our supper schedule. I’m a book worm and would try to read and cook at the same time; oh alright, I still do this. Feeding my mind has always been more tempting then feeding my body.

I never really enjoyed food as a pleasure until I moved to Montreal. Good, cheap food was plentiful and easy to find. The local bakery provided over ten different breads and bagels and pastries. There was a Chinese grocery a block from my home. Montreal was the first time I shopped in a delicatessen, ate smoked meat, had bagels and lox and the first time I had to buy fish that someone I didn’t know caught.

In Montreal, I tried authentic Indian food and more varieties of Chinese then I could find at home. I grew up in a small Saskatchewan town so I already was familiar with authentic Mandarin as this was where our local Chinese family had immigrated from and she would cook us authentic meals as she and my mom were best friends both struggling to raise kids alone (she was widowed, Mom was divorced).

You will notice, however, that all this variety did not inspire me to experiment in cooking for myself. I like my food to come as prepared as possible. I am not a cook; I do not aspire to be a chef.

I do read food blogs. Such pretty, pretty pictures. I do have around ten recipes bookmarked that I like enough that I may try them some day. Some day when I not too busy reading or there is someone coming for a meal that I really, really want to impress. The Queen perhaps. šŸ™‚

Queen Victoria

Here are the some links if you are interested:

Cheddar and Blueberry Pancakes, Chocolate Apple Pie, Coconut Cream Popsicle, Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, and Hot Toddy Pudding Cake. Enjoy šŸ˜‰

A cook is the first person I will hire when I finally make enough money to have such disposable income or if I win the lottery. This is how I will know I am rich – I will have someone else making all my meals for me!

Chef

gigi (not necessarily)

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