Cooking at Home

One of the things that make me feel like I’m home again is cooking. Today is a cooking day. I make fresh strawberry crepes for breakfast, luscious berries with a dusting of powdered sugar…a good way to start the day.

Yesterday I did some planning ahead for today’s dinner so I took out a beautiful thick pork chop. I am inspired by an Asian style marinade. Into a reusable bag goes the chop and the marinade, squishing to make sure the marinade infuses into the chop. Into the fridge it goes for over night. Once I am ready to eat again I take the chop out, heat the grill to high, cook some rice with red beans and a splash of Sriracha for a little kick. I cut some broccoli into flowerets and get out my bamboo steamer. While the broccoli is steaming to a slightly crunchy perfection, I throw the chop on the grill. After a few minutes I take it off to rest while I plate the rice and veggie.

When I cut into the chop I want to tear up with joy. It is sooooo tasty, tender and juicy. I pour a glass of wine and enjoy. I’m home, I’m cooking, I’m happy.

Perfect Asian pork chop

Perfect Asian pork chop

Culinary Adventures

I live with a very good cook. I mean VERY good. In the past 3 years I have been introduced to more new foods than I every thought possible. I’m not a bad cook, but I’m a plain cook. I make meals like spaghetti and meatballs, stew, chili, stir-fry, etc. I can fix an entire Thanksgiving dinner all by myself including from scratch pies. My mother never taught me to cook which in hindsight was probably a good thing as everything she ever cooked was fried. We had fried steak, fried pork chops, fried ham, fried chicken, fried potatoes, etc. My father had fried eggs every single day of his married life. I seldom fry anything other than an occasional tortilla for tacos or a chicken stir-fry using just a smidge of olive oil. But, my cooking skills are limited. My favorite cuisine is Mexican and I make the best tortilla soup ever and pretty darn good enchiladas, but these are things I’ve made my entire adult life. I really never tried to go too far out of the box.

Keith does most of the cooking and likes to do it himself. I’m barely allowed in the kitchen. So, where my culinary skills still need improvement, I have certainly developed a new appreciation for different foods and I’ve upped my game some by trying new things I would never have thought of before.

Day before yesterday we had squid stew. It is actually a french recipe but could easily pass as island. And, although sliced squid is not the most attractive bit to eat, the stew with fresh tomatoes, onions, fresh herbs from the garden and the squid was absolutely delicious. I have had carnitas, stuffed Portabello mushrooms, shiitake risotto, osso bucco and ahi with a wasabi sauce. I have fallen in love with Talapia with a butter/garlic/caper sauce, homemade marmalade, and red bell peppers freshly canned, then used for bruschette. I have developed a new liking for pasta, especially linguini with clams. Amazingly, I haven’t  gained weight. In fact I’ve actually lost some pounds. I attribute this to our different schedule for eating as we only eat one meal a day. We have our main dinner at about 1:oo or 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon. We will have a light snack in the morning and in the evening and this seems to work for us. And, of course, I dance hula three to four times a week so work at least some of it off.