Hi, my name is Kim and.....sounds like the awkward beginning of a 12 step program meeting, although I guess you could call it an addiction-food. And I don't want the cure.
Food-it's my passion and my preferred way of expressing my artistic side. My can-opener wielding husband asked me once (while being forced to watch Hell's Kitchen with me one night) 'why do they get so upset when they don't like their dishes?'. So I asked him how he'd feel if someone said his kid was stupid-the sentiment he felt had something to do with a 2x4 to the head of the person who might say that. So, he gets it now. It's an art, a creation, a veritable smorgasbord of senses we serve up and present to others with a "TADA!" and hope it's met with approval. It's a skill that is practiced, honed and fine tuned, that we get better and better at. Much like golf, which I've recently undertaken-the better I get at it, the more I want to play.
People want to know where I learned how to cook, and assume I learned it from my mom-Mom cooked, but not out of love for the food but out of necessity of feeding her family. My mom readily admits her daughters are better cooks than she and is happy to sit back and have us play chef during the holidays. Where I learned, was classic Food Network. When I was a new stay at home mom, I spent countless hours on the recliner rocking my babies to sleep, and fearing the slightest disruption would awake them from blissful slumber on my chest. So I usually had the remote in my hand to amuse myself. Once I had enough Jerry Springer to make me feel like my life was, indeed, up to par, I became fascinated with Food Network, since, well, suddenly not going to the office every day anymore, I had time for such things. My previous idea of cooking was frozen chicken breasts and cream of mushroom soup, but I digress...
I once heard something Mario Batali quoted on his show, and it stuck with me. He said the Italians only dine out at restaurants to give Mama a break from washing dishes. They don't go out to eat for good food, and I definitely share that sentiment. I'm hard pressed to find something I enjoy that I can't make better at home. People think this is unbelievable, but it's like this secret club I feel like I've been let in to, and the irony of it is, it's just so ridiculously easy. I only dine out as a means to have an adult dinner with my husband or to catch up with a girlfriend, purely social in nature.
Once I realized what truly "good" food is, it sparked the health conscious beast that lied in me. VERY dormant, I might add. I had lived my life as a steady size 8-10, living off of processed food and restaurant fare, which, in my early 20's didn't affect me too much. As I navigated through that decade, I realized I wasn't 19 anymore. Thankfully, my new hobby was in line with this. Much like the Italians, I began to see the value of choosing 5-6 fresh, quality ingredients and combining them into something that was far superior to anything I could order off a menu. My cooking style is much like that, I don't like to over manipulate foods, over sauce or cover up anything-I love to choose ingredients that can each shine, individually and combined in a way that complement each other.
Earlier this week, I remarked to my husband now that with this full time job and our hectic schedule, I was disappointed in what my "cooking" had morphed into. It's not me, and I have been missing out on something that really "fills my cup". The same day, Shannon asked me to write this foodie blog. This has inspired me to get back to where I want to be with food in my life-as difficult as that may be. This blog has taken me near an hour to write, as I've already had to play referee at least 13 times, so you can imagine how much uninterrupted time I get to pursue my passion. I think the men got it right with golf, as that requires leaving the house for a few hours!. Since Monday is the only day I come home after work and we eat together, I am committing to making this my REAL cooking day. I'll even break out of my box of "tried and trues" and try something completely different.
Here's one of my all time favorites, always a crowd pleaser, as well as healthy: