Monday, June 18, 2012
You know the old saying. Food is the way to a man's heart. While originating in a very different era, perhaps a modern interpretation would be "Food is the way to a lover's heart" because it goes both ways. I love that my husband likes to cook, too.
When I moved to Seattle financially broke and obese, I had to do a lot of cleaning house mentally and physically. My life had just fallen apart, and I needed to rebuild myself.
One of the things I determined to do to get my life under control was learn to cook. Even though I didn't have a lot of money, I bought myself a nice set of cookware. I learned to cook from watching Food Network and the internet. Being unpracticed, I made a lot of mistakes and a few bad dishes. But I got better over time.
By the time I met my future husband, I was comfortable in a kitchen. He is a pretty good cook. Even though he nearly set his oven on fire the first time he cooked for me. He was making a prosciutto wrapped chicken breast. We got to talking, and I guess he left it under the broiler just a little too long. The stove started smoking, there was a small flame, and he opened up all the windows and doors to air out his apartment. The funny thing is, it turned out just fine. The prosciutto was a little bit crispy like crisp bacon. It was delicious. If I hadn't seen the frantic window opening, I would have thought he'd intended to flambe it. I couldn't stop laughing.
Living in Seattle, we had access to some of the best world class food, so we dined out regularly. But we also enjoyed making meals at home for each other.
I sometimes wonder if our love would have blossomed the same without the experience of sharing good food.
My health has improved leaps and bounds after learning to make my meals. While I still eat low carb, what breads and desserts I do eat comes from my own kitchen for the most part. The result is I've been able to maintain my weight far easier than I ever thought possible. I don't know if it's because my body manages the whole ingredients better, or if it's more satisfying so I eat less. Maybe a combination of both.
The only time I gain weight is when I eat meals at fast food and poor quality restaurants. Since I've learned to cook at home, my palate has refined to the point where I can taste the individual spices and flavors. In fast food, I can taste predominately three things: poor quality vegetable oil, salt, and sugar. I was dismayed when I recently learned that Chik-fil-a uses MSG in their 'secret' seasoning.
My German-American 1930's depression era grandmother made the most incredible pecan pie I can remember. She would make the pie from pecans in her backyard. Sadly, her recipe died with her. I didn't have an interest in cooking at the time she was alive to ask her for the recipe, and I was too young to recall it from memory. Her children were all boys who weren't going to do 'women's work' cooking. Her grandchildren abandoned recipes and stoves in favor of packaged cartons of microwaved meals. The pecan pie is gone forever, along with who knows how many other recipes made with real ingredients.
It's a shame that I learned the lesson too late to save it.