I'm still trying to cook. Remember when I used to cook? Oh, those were the days, those were the days!!! My fragile mojo for cooking has left me again. This is getting to be a thing. My people need to eat. I think I feed them pretty well, but I'm not inspired. I don't seem to care so much about what I eat. I slurp the dregs from Amelia's discarded mango-peach pouches, eat the second half of a toddler-handled banana that I catch in midair as she hurls it toward the table, and lick raisins off my hand — that's breakfast. Lunch — I don't even understand what people eat for lunch besides pad Thai. Dinner: Okay. I like dinner. I search the archives of my mind, remembering that I used to cook dinner, and if not cooked then surely I assembled it, at least. Roasted chicken from New Seasons, shredded and turned into tacos with avocado and black beans. Swedish pancakes for Sunday breakfast, with most of the pancakes saved to make spinach crepes for dinner. Vegetarian mushroom sauce? I can do it. Serve over pasta with a small mountain of ricotta cheese.
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cups mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
In a large pan, melt butter and saute onions until soft. Add mushrooms, garlic, and spices. Cook until mushrooms are soft but still have a bit of bite to them. Add tomato paste, tamari or soy sauce, and honey. Simmer ten minutes. Add pepper (and salt, if needed) to taste.
This was my friend Ann's recipe, and I've had it for over twenty years. Very simple, very tasty, not very tomato-y, just how I like it. I'm quite sure it probably came from a cookbook but I don't know which one. If you recognize it, please let me know.
Rainy days, rainy days. Rain in the forecast as far out as I can see. It's soup-making weather if ever there was, and now I'm on a mission to pull together a freezer-full of it. "Don't touch Daddy's phone, Amelia; it's very, very important to him and he loves it more than anything," I say as she reaches for it sitting on the landing railing, about to throw it down the stairs. "That's because I don't have an iPad," says he, wryly, scooping the phone out of her reach as I (in the dark, in my nightgown) surf Pinterest on my iPad like a hungry bat, looking for good soup recipes. Ha! Well played, sir! It's 6:00 a.m., a rainy, still-dark morning, and I'm seeking inspiration in pictures of steaming soup bowls and crusty bread. My new plan is to plan better. I'm actually going to plan dinner before dinnertime. No, really, people actually do this! It's like a real thing that people do! Today I'm going to make black bean soup. I've decided that, and it's only 10:30 in the morning. Winning.
What's your favorite soup? Would you link me to an actual recipe so I can put it on my soup board?
I'm setting the TiVo to start recording a season pass of Barefoot Contessa. I used to watch this all the time but not for cooking inspiration, necessarily. It was more of just a general stress reliever. Cooking shows in general, but especially Ina's and Nigella's. Ubiquitous but so appealing to me. They are the right pace for me. Their voices and methods sooth. Even the way Nigella massacres things with that mezzaluna (the woman will not cut even the simplest things with a knife, I swear) I now find charming and encouraging. I have so many of their cookbooks. Perhaps I should start reading them instead of Anderson Cooper's memoir, which is (I'm only halfway through) unbelievably depressing (though, don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of AC).
Knitting: Knit knit knit. For that, I'm onto this garter sideways sweater (that photo is the sleeve — see where you fold it down?) which I should get cracking on as Amelia could be wearing it right now (though I can't resist buying her Zara coats — ack). I plan to line it with some Liberty, or something lightweight and flowery. The sweater-coat I made her last year turned out to be an awesome thing, and it's too small now (sniffle). Also, very pilled. (Alpaca.) That's okay. Clothes too small? Music to my ears! I'll make more!
Also: The sweetest bunny mittens, made for Meems by my dear friend Gillian. Amelia would not take these off this morning, though it made it hard to pick up every leaf and stick on her walk as she likes to do. No matter, such cuteness is worth the extra effort. She was delighted. Man, I love age two.
And: Wee Chickadee. My first Ysolda pattern. Inspired by kimlynn's version. I love the single color against the blue. I'm using a very, very pale pink (though it probably just reads as a rosy white against this blue). Fingering-weight yarn, am I nuts? Once I finish the yoke, though, it's just gobs of stockinette, so I think it'll be fine. I always think that. Until, of course, I get to the sleeves. By the way THANK YOU for all of the bind-off suggestions. After reading through them, I think on my next ribbed bind-off I'll try a tubular. I'll let you know how that goes. I did wind up finishing the second sleeve of the Bloomsbury, so thank you so much for the inspiration to get that done. I needed it.