Archive for December 12th, 2009


Saturday, December 12th, 2009

by Quinn Reed
The Artful Way

Do I like to cook? It depends. In the summer, I would rather be gardening, painting, hiking or writing. If I miss a meal - no problem - I can stand in my garden and munch like a bunny or live on watermelon.† This month, however, is a different story; ambrosia has been rolling out of my kitchen.† Because the weather has been so frigid, filling my house with scents of roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary and other wonderful smells (homemade oatmeal cookies with cinnamon, homemade chai with cardamom) is necessary to keep up the will to live. It is just too cold not to be eating grounding, nurturing meals.
My cooking style can be described as COOKING FROM THE PANTRY. I look in my refrigerator and pantry to see what I have and use it to create something nurturing. There is no following recipes which demand ingredients like watercress or gorgonzola which I do not keep around. But I may have buffalo mozzarella that is approaching its expiration date and so I conjure up something toothsome featuring the cheese. I learned to cook this way because I live so, so far away from a grocery store and I donít believe in adding to greenhouse gases to ìrun to the store for a small carton of sour cream.î
Iíve had great times watching peopleís eyes roll up into their head in orgasmic pleasure as they enter my kitchen and its enticing smells and bite into something I have made. Time seemed to stand still when my brother tasted the cream I had whipped and flavored to perfection for his pie. Another grown man nearly wept as he tasted my humble homemade chocolate cake made from scratch. I didnít have any cocoa powder in my pantry so I melted an expensive bar of European chocolate and used that. After a freezing afternoon outside with his snow blower, my cobbled-together cake was his fantasy of what is best about life.
I am (for this cold month only) turning into a blend of my Norwegian grandmother who could bake anything and my Italian grandmother who cooked food from real ingredients, and Merlin the Magician who conjured up delights from twigs and smoke.
You are what you eat, so eat well