Sunday, 9 March 2008
As I write this, the scent of cumin, oregano, onion and garlic all mixed together in a pan with beef, olives, eggs and potatos is wafting through C's house. This glorious mixture is patiently waiting for me to spoon it into pastry rounds, seam it up carefully, brush it with egg and pop it in the oven. Yup, it's emapanada night here in Blair's Grove.
I have serious doubts that any of our neighbours are cooking anything remotely ethnic tonight. This neighbourhood seems like a strictly meat n' potato joint, which is fine, but sometimes I crave flavours beyond Kraft Italian dressing.
I only make these delightful Filipino meat pastries once in a blue moon; they're a two-hour labour of kitchenish love that I rarely have time for. But I've had a pretty luxurious day of doing not much of anything, so I decided to treat my hardworking husband to a nourishing, if unusual, supper. He's been up at Someday Farm today and yesterday assisting his cousin the electrician with the wiring. I miss spending time with D, esp. since I'm off to Montreal for a 5 day holiday without him - but I know I shouldn't whinge about it. The house is getting finished, bit by bit, day by day, and all the help he can lend will only get us there sooner. We will (fingers crossed, wood knocked) hopefully be able to move in by late April. Yes, I mean April 2008.
But back to the cooking. I love cooking. I used to hate it, because I was told more than once by my ex that I wasn't very good at it. He used to do most of the cooking, which was fine by me at the time, since he was a great cook and worked from home. I usually didn't have the energy nor the inclination to make supper every night. But when I did feel inspired to attempt making something on weekends, I usually got gently ridiculed. When you're repeatedly told your stuff doesn't taste "right", you start believing it. I couldn't understand it, since both my mother and my Nana were fabulous in the kitchen. I chalked it up to lack of practice and patience, but it still hurt my feelings. It seemed shameful that I was breaking the tradition of excellent cooking in my family. I realize now it was probably more of a power thing than the fact that my cooking actually sucked; I say with some confidence that I could easily cook my ex under the table these days.
At any rate, D is a much more tolerant recipient of my efforts. My vegetarian Thai peanut stir fry has become his favourite ("I'd eat this stuff for dessert!"), he moans over my venison sausage & pepper pasta, and admits my Treehugger Vegetarian chili is "not bad - for not having meat."
I swear, there is nothing the man won't eat. Even if he doesn't like something I make (like the time I accidentally flavoured the tabbouleh salad with an overdose of lemon), down it goes. Must have something to do with growing up on a farm and having to fight to the death for that last pork chop with his brothers. C also comes sniffing around the kitchen when I'm in there; he seems to enjoy the leftovers I reserve for him after chores. I guess he likes a change from roast beef and the other staples his mother effortlessly serves. Her giant suppers put me to shame - I don't have the talent or forsight to cook the enormous amounts of food that she does. I've never cooked a turkey, and I've only done a roast of beef a few times. But she doesn't experiment with too many spices or try to make things from other cultures. I delight in trying new recipes, especially if they're different from our usual fare.
Pregnancy advice on eating abounds; I'm leaning towards Deepak Chopra's advice - a true departure in leanings for me, as I'm not a big 'new age' fan - to eat with awareness, and incorporate the "six tastes of life" into my diet: sweet, sour, salty, pungent and bitter. Sounds a lot like life to me.
Cooking for boys has become a fun pastime. I just wish D would hurry up and get home so we could eat!