Tuesday, October 18, 2011
A Homemade Life: A Discovered Passion
I have never used the word passion and cooking to describe my feelings toward my time spent in the kitchen, although I do plenty of it. I cook three meals a day, and we rarely eat out. I actually cook a hot breakfast each morning for my children, and dinner time with family is given a high priority in our home. I see great value in good food and in spending time with my family enjoying that good food. (Restaurants are great, but not very relaxing...a bit noisy, way overpriced, and my husband and I never get to linger and visit at the table while the boys run off to play once their plates are clean.) I'm not a professional foodie, not hippie enough, but I do appreciate the food movement.
However, I would rather work outside or on a writing project and have a hired cook than spend as much time as I do working in my kitchen.
My book group picked to read A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. They promised me I'd like it. That it would inspire me to cook. OK. I wasn't buying it. But get this...I really did like the book. I love Molly's writing style. She is an expert blogger and her chapter essays ooze with excellent writer's voice and a relational style that creates an intimacy with her readers/following. She has a blog called the Orangette. I loved reading about her intimate relationships that all involved food. And, I loved many of her recipes in the book. I tired several.
Each chapter is a story in itself with a recipe at the end that ties it all together. For example, the chapter that deals with her father's losing fight with cancer and their shared moments of clarity over an egg dish then includes the recipe for "Eggs Grotto" at the end.
I'm planning on buying this book for myself, read the library copy, and keeping it in my kitchen cupboard. The bummer is that I wish there was a recipe book version only so that the pages of her brilliant wit wouldn't become stained with various food matter as I whip and serve these recipes, but Molly would probably like that. She'd think it was fitting.
And I learned something about myself from this read, bonus! I like cooking....when I don't have to follow a recipe. I like cooking savory items because of this. I am quite pleased with myself when I can make a yummy soup by putting things out of my pantry and making it work. I feel more free, more romantic, and more bohemian when I'm cooking without the constrains of rules and measurements. Now I just need to take some professional cooking classes so I can do this with more successes than failures, or my family might not find our time around the table so enjoyable.