They say music has charms to soothe the savage beast.
If that's the case, then I say cooking has the power to calm a disturbed diva.
My bummed mood as of late (thanks for the kind emails and messages) needed a shot in the arm, and I knew some creativity in the kitchen would be just what the doctor ordered.
I spent some serious time cleaning my home over the Independence Day holiday weekend and decided it was time to invite my friends over - a rotating calendar of guests requires a bit of a commitment to maintenance, doesn't it?
Jos gets the first crack at dinner in my kitchen (well, at least for this go around. He's been to my kitchen before...)
Right now I've got a London Broil marinading in the fridge, a bunch of sliced up zucchini, yellow squash, Vidalia onion, and baby bella waiting to hit the saute pan (with olive oil, basil and pine nuts), and some homemade blueberry syrup - to top vanilla bean ice cream.
The careful art of preparation is spectacular.
From measuring out the soy sauce to pressing flat the garlic clove a-la Rachael Ray, I felt like I had rolled up my sleeves (I actually don't wear many sleeves this time of year) and was creating something spectacular.
In theory, I guess I have. We'll have to wait until tomorrow when I fire up the stove.
I'm a bit of a creature of habit - I love throwing on my Crate and Barrel flower-and-fruit print apron and pinning up my mess of hair to take command of the kitchen. I delight in perusing through my extensive collection of spices - some from half way around the world - trying to determine which flavors would best suit my culinary cravings.
I love turning chopped liver into four star.
Actually... I never buy chopped liver. But I think you get the point.
Sometimes I feel very Mad Scientist, stirring a little bit of this in to a little bit of that. Most of the time my flavorful concoctions are successful, creative ventures. Other times I ditch (and pitch) my failed attempts. Still other times, I decide to chow down on inventions I'd never subject on an unsuspecting guest, like last week when I invented Guinness Pasta.
The creamy, beer flavored sauce wasn't quite what I thought it would be.
I guess that leads me to my next point. When it comes to baking - I am by the book. Baking is actually an exact science - a chemistry of rising and congealing and other phenomenons that require specific quantities of baking soda/flour/water/eggs/sugar etc.
Cooking though - it's negotiable. Sometimes I dig out a recipe - other times I throw caution to the wind and toss whatever I want in the pot.
Variety really is the spice of life - no matter what flavor you prefer.