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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I don't know if it's to distract myself from the nuttiness at work, or what. But all day I've been obsessing about cooking. I realized that on Sunday I won't be able to do the veggie dish I wanted to because it requires a cast-iron skillet, which I don't have (goodness, I need to get a cast-iron skillet!). So instead I'll roast a cauliflower with some mix of herbs and spices I'll figure out later.

I've always loved cooking for holidays, and tonight it's almost all I can think of. But I love holiday breakfasts as much as holiday dinners, and nobody has EVER cared to enjoy it with me -- my birth family or my ex and his parents.

Watching Hell's Kitchen tonight I figured out the menu for a Thanksgiving breakfast: cheddar-scallion bread pudding, beef smoky-link sausages, compote of dried mixed fruits, and your choice of coffee or hot chocolate (made from scratch with milk, cocoa powder and sugar, of course).

I thought of Thanksgiving dinner. Ted Allen has the wonderful idea of buying turkey parts instead of a whole turkey, since they cook for different lengths of time and you can cook them at their own times (plus, no thawing!) with a pan of dressing. I'll admit, I'd miss stuffing the bird and especially the crisp part under the neck skin. (Although, of course, Alton loves to say that "stuffing is evil.") But I seriously think I'm going to use Ted's idea this year. I also think (deep breath) that I'll make my stuffing from scratch and not invite Mrs. Cubbison. I might even bake the bread. Who am I kidding -- I'll probably be cooking for my ex and he doesn't care if I use Stove Top. Which I flatly refuse to do. The tacky green bean casserole with canned green beans, canned mushroom soup and canned fried onions is disinvited. I'm trying to work out a savory winter squash recipe and lead with a mixed-green salad. I always thought poultry required white wine (isn't there a law about that?), but I think I'd serve a California zinfandel instead.

I'm imagining Christmas breakfast of crisp, thick-sliced bacon, gingerbread French toast and apple-cinnamon compote (same beverages). Christmas dinner will always be roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (this is NOT subject to revision), but I'm going to start making my own gravy and not using canned. I also have to get that cast-iron skillet before Christmas so I can make Ted's gorgeous green vegetable side dish. Served with a fresh-baked rolls and a rich barbera or a Spanish rioja wine -- I would not be ashamed to serve that to anybody.

I denied this side of myself for so long. My ex and his parents wanted the same five or six things over and over and OVER. People told me I'd never lose weight unless I treated food as the enemy and ignored it as much as possible. Well, it's the same bullbleep I was told about my Irish side. This is ME -- unabashedly food-loving. Regarding food as art. Not willing to ignore the depths of flavor, the colors, smells, shapes and sounds (seriously -- have you ever heard a steak hit a H**l-hot skillet?).

Thank you to Food Network and its wonderful stars for letting me delve into this side of myself without shame (and for the occasional enjoyable romantic fantasy here and there). get past the store-bought eggnog I unfortunately love...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh, my, that all sounds so delicious. No, food is not the enemy-our relationship with food is what gets us into trouble. Obsessing about it, eating processed, high-calorie things when we could be enjoying unprocessed whole foods-that's where the real problem lies. Food is a wonderful, beautiful thing and is necessary for life, and I think we should enjoy it.
    2023 days ago
  • LIS193
    That all sounds so good!
    2023 days ago
    Yum! Yum!

    2023 days ago
    Reading your blog has made me hungry. It all sounds good. I have read that cooking turkey parts separately is really the best way as well.
    2023 days ago
    You could always do stuffing muffins (Rachel Ray). I do like the bird stuffed too
    2023 days ago
    Oh, everything sounds so good. I don't blame you for obsessing.
    2023 days ago
    I'm getting hungry just reading your blog. Food is meant to be enjoyed by all the senses. Losing weight doesn't require giving up a love of food. Natural home-cooked foods are good for us. The hard part is portion control, at least for me. My husband eats the same bland things over and over, so he doesn't help me eat something like roasted butternut squash with pears and walnuts. I make a batch, and have to measure out my portion and put the rest in the refrigerator right away so I don't eat it all at once. Now that my son has moved away (my daughter moved to the west coast years ago) I just cook for my husband and myself.
    2023 days ago
    What a great idea to do something for yourself. I'm betting your creations will be delicious. Don't forget to take a few pictures!
    2023 days ago
    I love to cook too!
    2023 days ago
    It sounds like you love food and all the creation that goes into the scrumptuous and delicious meals. It will work out fine and the meal will be wonderful. Keep up your enthusiasm. If this is something you have wanted to do for a long time, it is FABULOUS that you are doing it. Good for you. All the best to you and the lucky people you are preparing food for. emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Irish Ei
    2023 days ago
    It is very obvious that you love food and you love cooking good food for an appreciative audience. Why don't you try contacting a senior residence and see if you could cook dinner for them? They would truly appreciate it!
    2023 days ago
    My mouth is watering - especially the thick crispy bacon ............droooooolllll!
    2023 days ago
    all the best
    2023 days ago
    I so see your love for food. I enjoy watching the way Tyler Florence cooks because you can tell the way he handles it how much he love food and loves to cook it. I think your menu for the holidays would be wonderful and anyone would be happy to have it.
    2023 days ago
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