Tuesday, January 25, 2011

cooking

As I sit reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I begin to reflect on what cooking means to me....

Cooking is so much more than preparing food for consumption. Cooking is an art form. Cooking requires foresight, preparation, organization, creativity, not to mention skill, thoughtfulness and love.

Cooking is a challenge while simultaneously cathartic. It brings me peace and frustrates me. It's time consuming yet goes by so fast. Cooking a great meal is inspirational, adventuresome, satisfying, and on occasion, disappointing.

What I love most about cooking is the bond it creates between women. I love the way it brings me closer to my mom, when I call her from Wegmans asking "what cut of beef do I need to make your pot roast???" or, my sister when I call her to ask "how do I make healthy brownies??".

Sharing recipes with friends, co-workers, and family members is like exposing a piece of personal information...you're telling them how you conduct yourself in the kitchen, what you love/hate to eat, how you manage your time, how you find your recipes, and ultimately why you butt got so big, or why it's shrinking!

If I had a nickel for every time I copied a recipe for someone, I'd surely be a millionaire. Anyone who knows me, knows I'll thrust recipes on you, whether you want them or not - I'm bossy that way. But I love sharing. I feel like I'm giving a little gift. And when friends come back and say "that was sooooo good", my heart wells up with joy, that I had something to do with another person's positive relationship with food.

To sum it up I want to recall a little story. My sister-in-law Julee made a wonderful (and easy) pork roast one visit home to Kansas. I asked for the recipe and she obliged, letting me know it came from her friend Stacey (origin unknown). I made the recipe at home and it turned out just as good (which isn't always the case). I made it dozens of times again in the past couple of years and once Jonah was eating solids I sent the leftovers to daycare with him. My babysitter Jackie asked what it was (she said it smelled wonderful when she warmed it up!) I gave her the recipe and she made it for her family (4 girls and her husband) and they also loved the taste and she loved the ease. Since then it has been passed along to her mother-in-law who made it at a dinner party and copied the recipe for her guests who loved it also. You get the gist....but my point is this: how cool is it that this little recipe traveled so far and made so many people happy? I think it's pretty amazing.

Do you want the recipe? Cause here it is! Enjoy!

SWEET PORK LOIN

2-3 lb. Boneless pork loin
1 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored & cut into bite size chunks
celery - 2 ribs or so, sliced
1/2 -1 cup golden raisins
Curley's BBQ sauce* or a KC masterpiece
1/2 cup brown sugar


Rub pork loin with salt, pepper and a good amount of brown sugar. Top with the chopped apples, celery and raisins. Pour bbq sauce over - use alot! Cover with foil and bake in 350 oven for 1 1/2 -2 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes. Makes for great leftovers.

Yep, that's all folks.

* If you've never had Curly's you don't know what you're missing. Since this is a Kansas-sorta-thing, you'll have to order The Curly's Gift Pack for $22.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello, 2011!

I am ringing in the new year the same way I did in 2010:

With optimism! Jason and I set many goals for ourselves (we refrain from using the word RESOLUTION), and we met nearly all of them. I am proud of this accomplishment as well as motivated to try again. First, we need to reinstate last years goals, such as date night, family vacations, etc. and then there are some new goals such as healthier cooking, and more time for personal projects such as sewing, guitar playing, etc.

2010 was an amazing year full of blessings. I can only hope to have another year just like it...and truthfully, with these two handsome boys by my side, its hard to see how it could be otherwise.



P.S. Talk about optimism: I got a stomach virus while in KS, but rather than let it get me down, I realized I lost 3 lbs and thought - this is a great way to start the new year!