Monday, February 21, 2011

Thoughts from the Kitchen

It's been nearly a month since I blogged on here, yikes! Sorry 'bout that y'all. But I'm gonna sit down now and look around the kitchen ~ which sadly means no photos today, just thoughts.

Right now I have a moment somewhat to myself. The Sourdough Starter has been fed. Beer bread is in the oven baking. The kids are occupied and the dogs are playing.

Thought 1:
I love to cook. I love to bake. I love real food, slow food. I read cookbooks for fun and dream of dishes yet to be made. However, life can really through a kink into that desire .. especially when you're a mama .. even more especially when you have a finicky 4 year old at the table.
You lose the whimsically magical delight of "Hmm .. what shall I create today?" as you spin around the kitchen in a too-cute apron.
Instead, the sink is full of dishes, the dogs are slobbering on the floor, the counters are cluttered, you're wondering how you keep your shirt so damn dirty, and what the hell are you going to make for dinner that your 4 year old will take one look at that (sometimes not even that, just as soon as he HEARS about it) and begin absolutely SCREAMING "BUT I DON'T LIKE THAT!!!!"
"You've never had it before" you soothingly reply.
"BUT I HATE IT!!!" he screams back.
"It's made with stuff you like" you reassuringly begin to plead.
"NO I DON'T" he screams back again amid his dramatic sobs.
"Well, that's what is for dinner and you can eat it or not, so there." Because no matter how old you are saying "So there" and sticking out your tongue (even if you only do that part in your mind because you don't want your kids doing it back to you) feels REALLY good.
And this whole scene plays out first in your head, because you know it is coming, and then again as soon as dinner is announced, and then again once more as an encore when dinner is served.

Thought 2:
Real food rocks. It can go from being the easiest thing to find to the hardest thing to find. It seems like I'm always finding out new reasons why all these things in the grocery store are really poisoning us. But even through these trials, real food just rocks.
It makes me swoon & drool like some Rock Star Hottie flashing me his baby blues & six-pack abs. Raw Milk Cheese. Spent Beer Grain Bread baked in Flower Pots. Home-cured Ham. Pasture Raised meat on the smoker. --- oh, I am so swooning and drooling right now. Hello Pavlov.
This morning I had a breakfast of two eggs (thanks to the Blue Nymph Biddies, our backyard chickens) fried up in a cast iron skillet on top of a pad of raw milk butter (made here at home), topped with some delicious Irish cheese.
Right now the heavenly aroma of beer bread is filling the kitchen. I made it using Ruby's Deep Winter Stout (a dry Irish stout). I am already envisioning it, fresh out of the oven with butter melting on it as I dig into it for lunch.

The other day someone mentioned a whipped cream cheese to me, as it is lower in calories. I responded that I cared more about real food and didn't bother with calories. And I realized something really freeing: I don't care about calories. I don't even think about them.
Of course I care about health and wellness but, when it comes to food, I realize that I think differently than a lot of people ~ and a lot more like a hopefully growing number of people!
I think about where the food came from. How was it raised and grown? What processes did it have to go through to be the food it is in my kitchen? Is it natural? Does thinking about it and tasting it make me salivate or does it make my mind go "well, it's supposed to be better for me?" in that voice that sighs and silently says "ugh" and resigns itself to this food-like stuff.
I refuse to acknowledge that voice anymore. That voice isn't a happy one. Real food squashes that voice flat and has me singing in a flower-filled meadow.

Thought 3:
I am dreaming of my gardens over-flowing with produce. I am out of homemade ketchup and can't wait to make more. I long to see what the gardens produce this year.
I wasn't ready to welcome Spring. I love the snow and we didn't get it this year, so I've been pretty bummed about that. Now it is still February and I've noticed that my lilac tree has the beginnings of buds on it. So I am letting Winter go and looking forward to Spring. And my gardens. Which will fill my kitchen with fresh, organic food and stock my pantry full.

Thought 4:
What the hell is for dinner tonight?