Cooking and Food

If you don’t know it already, I love food. I also love to cook, and by most accounts from people I have fed over the years I’m damn good at it. It’s a wonder I have any time to paint, given how much time I spend cooking, thinking up recipes, shopping, browsing and watching the Cooking channel. So I was watching Chuck’s Day Off and he did a salad of sauteed cauliflower, bacon and arugula.  Three things I love. So I thought on it a couple of days and decided I’d try my own version of it last night for dinner.

Announcing that I was trying something new to David, the inevitable question came, “Do have a recipe or are you making it up? If you are making it up you better write it all down while you are doing it because that’s usually the good stuff and you always forget how you made it,” he said. So I figured I’d sauteed the cauliflower and added add asparagus to it. Then I decided to make a warm olive oil, shallot and mustard dressing, tossed everything with the baby arugula and topped it with an egg cooked over easy. Sprinkled it all with some chopped bacon and we were good to go.

The first bite was sheer genius. Everything came together and sang in my mouth, which is watering this very minute thinking about it. Second bite, equally amazing. David was star struck, claiming it was probably going to go down as his most memorable food moment ever, high praise given the fact that I’ve been cooking for him for almost ten years. So mid mouthful he grabbed a pen and paper, tossed it to me and I started to write down how I did it: Chopped bacon, sauteed cauliflower, asparagus, dressing, egg. Done.  YUM!

“No!” David said, and taking the paper, he started to write down all of the details, because as he said if I don’t write it down it’ll never be quite the same again. This is my payback for subjecting him to my cooking shows – he’s beginning to know more than I think he does about cooking so now he’s making comments, like shouldn’t I cover it? and don’t you think it needs a little more oil? and did you already salt that? don’t forget the salt because you usually do.

This is all part of the fun, the banter back and forth across the stove. It’s become part of our evening ritual, sitting down to talk about our day and poke a little fun while I cook dinner. Turns out I have enough of all the ingredients left to make it again, so we’ll be having it again tonight. And to keep it interesting, I’ll change out a few things, just to keep David on his toes.


You’ve heard of emotional eating right? Well, I think I am an emotional cooker.  Today is my grandmother’s 90th birthday, and for a variety of reasons I couldn’t make it to the party this weekend in Denver. So, thinking I’d be calling between breakfast, lunch and the party, I called my sister. But I called during brunch. So everyone is there, having a great time and chatting away. It’s not a bad thing, but certainly makes me wish even more I was there. I am the only one left on the West Coast now, and once every now and again, okay frequently, I think maybe it’s time to move closer. I got “passed around” as it were, chatting with my extended family as the cell phone got passed from person to person. Almost like I was there, without the 36 hour turn around flight.

My consolation prize? Quiche.  Today is quiche day.  I’m making a “what things do I have on hand” quiche. So, it’ll have oven roasted tomatoes, ham, scallions and onion, caraway, thyme, provolone and mushrooms. That’s what I love about quiche – you can pretty much put in it whatever you want and as long as the egg/cream ratio is correct, it’s a success.

Cooking is my solace – it’s nurturing, creative, spontaneous and since you have to eat it’s also a necessity.  So while I am not where I’d like to be today, I’ll be eating a fabulous quiche in a bit and taking comfort in planning what’s for dinner.