By Caitlin Kelly
It was a veritable frenzy — a combination of impending medical anxiety, again, no work to produce and fall’s slightly cooler temperatures that make our small, un-ventilated galley kitchen more bearable.
In the space of 24 hours I made: curried corn soup, pork chops with red onion and red peppers, (both from a Gordon Ramsay cookbook), morning glory muffins, (a NYT recipe, so good — filled with carrot, walnuts, raisins, coconuts, apple), lemon roasted potatoes and a lemon loaf.
I really enjoy cooking, and went through two sweat-soaked T-shirts and bandanas to produce it all. Cooking is physical! All that slicing and chopping and grating and mixing and peeling.
I love having a fridge filled with ingredients — fresh dill, eggs, unsalted butter — and reaching for my baking pantry of flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices and sugars. To make it easier, we have a dishwasher, multiple sets of measuring spoons and cups, multiple mixing bowls, a hand mixer and a small blender; (the poor Cuisinart stays in the garage as there is NO room for it in the apartment.)
I play loud music on the radio or stereo and off I go. Our stove/oven is a four-burner Bertazzoni and still burns hot. Our kitchen counters are stone, so I sometimes cut directly on them.
I’ve been collecting recipes for decades and have a good collection of cookbooks — favorites include oldies like Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cooking, The Vegetarian Epicure Part Two, The Silver Palate and Barefoot Contessa. But I also clip recipes all the time from papers and magazines — I made mince tarts last year for the first time, thanks to one in the weekend FT, our preferred weekend read.
When it all turns out well — and it usually does — we sit, light candles, pour wine, and savor what we happily call “restaurant food”, carefully thought out and prepared with care and energy.
I know that, for some people — those with fussy kids or eating disorders or medically restricted diets — food can be a source of frustration and stress. I know I need to lose at least 30 pounds, too, but my intense pleasure at eating a delicious meal is a constant challenge in that regard.
Do you enjoy planning a meal, prepping and cooking?
What do you like to make?