It’s slightly ironic that right after starting a baking and cooking blog, I’ve self-imposed a baking hiatus and have been having problems getting myself to cook. Although I’ve grown to really enjoy baking, it results in a financial loss for me! The typical pattern is to bake a batch of cookies (25-30 cookies), eat 1/2 of one, then give away all the rest. Even more ridiculous is that in my desperation to get them out of my house, I will make the effort to deliver, which adds even more time that’s “wasted” on the activity. I ran out of flour and sugar last week, and will be using that as a sign as it’s time to cool it down a bit…and then work to make baking a zero-sum activity, in the financial sense. I have a small idea on how to do this, so watch out for a post!
I was hoping that the baking hiatus would result in an intense return to cooking, but honestly, it sadly hasn’t been the case at all. Despite stocking my kitchen, I’ve barely been able to cook the past few days. As they say, “when it rains, it pours,” and a few “real-life” events have sent me reeling towards a mini quarter-life crisis (and didn’t this already happen earlier last year?). Sigh. But it will be fine, I will be fine, and thank goodness human beings are amazingly resilient.
Anyway, so what’s the point of this post? In an effort to get myself re-excited about cooking and food, I’ll detail my basic cooking philosophy. I call it the “Whole Foods” philosophy (the naming isn’t intentionally related to the grocery store, although I’ll admit that I love WF and shop there way more than I should). In a nutshell, my goal is to get to a point where I only buy…whole foods. Foods that only consist of one ingredient: mushrooms, kale, oats, chickpeas, lentils, cumin, paprika. As much as possible, no processed and pre-packaged foods. It’s as simple as that. This started with my 2010 New Year’s “resolution,” which was to start making my own vegetable broth. Before then, I was already cooking quite a bit, and mostly from scratch, but vegetable broth (to use as my soup base) was something I’d lug home from the grocery store. I finally decided to stop being silly (those boxes made my grocery haul much heavier, especially when I don’t have a car here!) and just try the very easy recipe I bookmarked for homemade vegetable broth. This snowballed into making my own hummus, baba ganoush (and other spreads), salad dressings, applesauce, tomato sauce, etc. What I found each time was that A. it wasn’t that difficult and B. it always, always, ALWAYS tasted incredibly better than the store-bought version. Yes, it can consume more time than buying the container at the grocery store, but practice makes perfect (well more like, practice makes you faster), and the taste increase is worth it.
A few other things about me and cooking and food. I don’t cook meat, partially for health reasons, but it’s more of a convenience and cleanliness rational (I do eat meat, although I don’t really ever crave it, and will often choose against it). I don’t cook with dairy (cow-based), for allergy reasons. Or peanuts for that matter (not an allergy but to borrow a term from a friend, an “adverse reaction”). I think I may be coming across as some insane food purist, and while I am picky (story of my life), I still eat things you’d be surprised that I do. I also will try anything once–yak testicles, caterpillar fungus, kangaroo, an embryonic egg, a dish with pork blood as the sauce…grossed out yet?
Oh, lastly, I HATE olives. Ugh they’re foul. Did you know that raw and uncured, olives are poisonous? I think that’s enough of a reason for why we were never meant to eat them and shouldn’t. Blech.
So, let’s hope for some cooking soon, some return to normalcy and growth from there! Leave a comment if you visit please!