I used to have a cookbook that was peppered with quotes. My favorite one is:
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
Today, after slipping in and crawling back out of the slough of despond for what seems like forever, but was probably only a few weeks, I woke up not automatically reaching for the ibuprofen. I'm still tired, six days straight at a job like mine will do that to a girl, while at the same time I am uplifted, exhilarated, noticing the sunshine.
So I decided to tackle the kitchen today. After throwing out a few things of questionable origin, I had enough space in the refrigerator to contemplate lightening the freezer's heavy load. So, I pawed through the things in that cold place and discovered I really don't need to do much shopping at all this weekend. I defrosted my Mexican Tomato Stew and it is still more than edible, it's darn good. The bread, which I feared would be freezer burnt when I discovered it, (since I couldn't remember when I had last made that particular kind) turns out to make very good toast.
Then I made my special no-fry refried beans and, since there were two pounds of carrots in the produce drawer threatening to look not so carroty, I grated some of them into the beans and chopped some fresh tomatoes, a little squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil and, voila! A bean dip worthy of the best cracker you care to dip into it. Then it was onto the packet of frozen mixed beans I had bought for a Thanksgiving potluck 2 1/2 years ago. I sauteed them in the two slices of pancetta I found hiding behind some frozen blueberries, then tried the teriyaki sauce I had never opened for a twist on chinese green beans. I am not quite sure about that particular result.
Then I saw a nice, big, plump chicken breast which had already been cooked, yearning to be free of the tundra. So I defrosted it and sauteed an onion to go with it (everything is better with onions, doncha know?), stirred the onions into the chopped chicken and, just because I was feeling adventurous, opened the sandwich pepper relish I'd been dying to try. It's a bit hotter than I expected but will still be perfect with a dollop of greek yogurt over rice. Oh, and the rice is in the cooker now.
Last, but not least, I made fresh limeade with Stevia. The hint I got about that worked -- you simply dissolve the Stevia in warm water first! Jasmine tea "brewing" in the fridge and then, to crown the day I made my very special salad dressing. Last night, on the way home, I stopped at the store and found a gorgeous fresh basil plant. I got it, figuring that even if I managed to kill it I would still get more basil from it and at a lower price than I would for the teeny little packet of fresh basil they sell. So, today I plucked the first leaves from the plant, crushed them and squeezed the juice of my last three lemons over them in my new salad-dressing shaker. A few crushed cloves of garlic, some olive oil, salt and pepper. Magic!
I also had a phone chat with my friend Carole while I was taking a break. So, that's been my day. Just call me Kamilla the Domestic Diva, ok?