Thursday, January 22, 2015


What's cooking?
Somewhere along the way I became chief
cook and bottle washer. If I've gained any
knowledge over the last nine months it is
a newfound and deep respect for all of our
Mother's who dished it out daily. Don't get
me wrong - I actually enjoy cooking. Yet
orchestrating a nightly meal is more than
a responsibility, it's a very hard job. Not
only does one need to serve tried and true
favorites, one must also occasionally spice
things up. The last thing this foodie wants
to do is push his partner into a food coma.
Thus daily dazzle has to be on our menu.

Salad days
I'll admit that I may be more than over
roughage. While I agree that there's
nothing better than a salad for you,
I find them more than dull. Hence each
evening, I do my best to put some sort
of alternative spin into my salad spinner.
With somewhat limited produce options
here in rural Montana, it can be tough to
freshen up your mix. While I haven't
sunk to jicama yet... sometimes one is
challenged to come up with something
new. Should I toss in my towel? Have
I finally had enough of the rough stuff?

Best dressed
Some just have a natural knack when
it comes to dressing properly. "T"
mixes magic up in her wooden bowl.
Frank always tosses out winners. "S"
jazzes up her jumbles with a touch of
panache. I try keep things as simple
as possible - a classic vinaigrette over
a beautiful Bibb. Whether you prefer
to pour it on or go raw, we all need to
occasionally spice things up. A dash
or splash of something new can take
everyday fare from fair to fabulous.
What's your secret ingredient?

Head to head
The good news is there's plenty
of the green stuff for all of us.
I adore cabbage. From Napa to
Savoy to sweet and savory red
to Kimchee to Sauerkraut -
I can't seem to get enough of
the rough stuff. And while one
tries to stray from mayonnaise,
I do enjoy the occasional slaw.
Today we toss almost anything
into the mix. Who knew that
healthy could taste so good?
Our mother's certainly did not!

Healthy choice
The experts always said that vegetables
were good for you. Sadly the veggies my
Mother served rarely tasted good. After
years of pulverized peas and crumbling
carrots, our generation rebelled against
poorly prepared produce. Now we aged
tots who detested Brussels Sprouts can't
get enough. Those who once paled at the
thought of kale eagerly devour it roasted,
raw, steamed, dried, and baked. All of
a sudden the veggies once abhorred are
now adored. We're strong to the finish
cause we eat only organic spinach!

Plus extra starch
It's all about balance. Hence my veggies
are even better when accompanied by a
massive portion of protein. I do enjoy all
of the starches although honestly, as I've
cooked almost nightly I've started to shy
away from them. At times I find them at
best unnecessary. Why would one waste
carbs? Save them for a pasta carbonara
rather than a mess around with a mound
of mashed potatoes. Even better... hold
the starch until you can gobble down a
plate of piping hot pomme frites! Guilty
pleasures taste better when they're rare.

Secret ingredient
The good news is I'm the only one
complaining - at least for now. No
matter what my Mother placed on
the table, Howard lauded each and
every debacle with "That was the
best dinner ever Babe." Flattery
aside, I think I'm doing a good job.
More important, I enjoy each and
every minute of the effort involved
in keeping my better half well fed.
In the end it doesn't matter what you
dish out, as long as it's served with
a heaping portion of love. YUM!