food makes me happy.

Food makes me happy.
Joy of Cooking
My life feels pretty tough sometimes, but I always enjoy cooking. I love to read about food, research, experiment and share. Often, when I’m feeling a little internal – I’ll bake some bread, make a relish, or cook up some comfort food. I can spend hours in the kitchen. Not all of it’s fun mind you, I get tired feet and I feel frazzled when I have a bunch of kids come sniffing around, wondering ‘when it’s going to be ready’ or ‘eww, what’s that? Not casserole!’.

Then it’s gone. After my last post which had some philosophical meanderings about endings and my avoidance of them, I don’t mind the ‘end of food’. Perhaps because I know that I’m quite capable of rehashing what I just did in the kitchen. I have confidence in my cooking abilities – even if some of my food comes out leaving a little to be desired. Like last night’s meatloaf.

I’m not very fond of meatloaf but we’re on a severely tight budget this week and I even bought sausage meat to mix with it (this really is pushing it for me!). I looked up a bunch of recipes on the internet trying to find a meatloaf that I thought wouldn’t fall apart when cooked (this is a problem I have). I ‘discovered’ a couple of recipes for barbecue sauce that had a mix of what I thought were odd ingredients, some of these being: tomato sauce (ketchup in america); lemon juice; worcestershire sauce; and coffee. Yup, I made some, and it tasted gross. I used half of it anyway – to pour over the top of the meatloaf for the last 45 minutes of cooking time. It still tasted gross. But everyone ate it and no one else said ‘yuck’. Only me. I probably won’t make meatloaf again for a very long time. I have the confidence to try these things though, and that’s what counts. If only I could get that going in more of the other corners of my life.

I’ve put the cover of my very falling apart edition of the ‘Joy of Cooking’ as the featured image for this post. My mother gave it to me for my 21st birthday, and I think her mother gave her a copy on her 21st birthday. I’m missing page 603/604 – this is in the poultry section and I have no idea where it’s disappeared to. I have all the other loose pages in their rightful places, and even the red ribbon has survived. It’s not attached anymore, and there is some dubious looking food crusted to one end, but hey – it adds character. This book taught me how to bone a chicken in a couple of minutes, and how to care for boiling sugar. I think I enjoy it more for the history it shares and the techniques described, rather than the recipes themselves. They really provide inspiration for recipes I tend to develop myself. Here’s a link to the history of the book if you’re interested.

I feel like I cut these posts short. I run out of gusto to write – maybe it’s like exercise and I’ll get better the more I do it. It might just be the hideously awful singing I can hear on the television that my son is watching in the other room. Cringe worthy kid singing.

I guess I just wanted to share that food makes me happy. To cook is truly a joy of mine.

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