On cooking

My friend and I were walking as we do–some days even before the sun begins to fill in the edges of the Manhattan skyline, but today it was a little later. Flexibility is key.
Let’s just say that you decided the only way to cook was to cook every night, deliver dinner on time, and it could only be delicious. And you may be thinking to yourself, “now what kind of crazy person would think like that?”
The first time I tried being married, I made breakfast, lunch (delivered) and dinner. If I made blueberry muffins, they were made with fresh berries, in season, and the muffins were hot. If the man didn’t say
“YES!!! NOW THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! THIS IS DELICIOUS! THIS IS LOVE IN A LUNCH SUIT!”, then it was entirely possible that that lunch was going to take a short flight to the trash can and a different lunch–a better lunch–would take it’s place. I understand it’s not easy to live with a woman who cooks like that–you might eat well, but the stress of mealtime can really get in the way of enjoying your food. I had no faith in 99%. 98% could eat me alive. It was all or nothing. I lost the forest for the trees.
Do you know I never really became a cook until I gave up worrying about the judge. I became a cook when I was willing to jump off the deep end of cooking from the inside out instead of the outside in. Recipes as a reference instead of a rule. A love for all the ingredients in front of me, for giving from the core of me to bring them to life, and for feeding the ones I love. Don’t think for a minute that I don’t still do battle with that judge, but I’m winning.

Make yourself an appetizer of roasted red and yellow peppers (400 degree oven, toss with olive oil and salt, sprigs of marjormam, parsley and rosemary and whole cloves of garlic) and fresh mozzarella di bufala. Serve with roasted, thickly sliced onions, tossed with a little olive oil, balsamic and a touch of orange juice. When they are out of the oven, throw in a bay leaf and nicoise olives that you have roasted separately.

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