Dana’s parents have been visiting this weekend – I love having them around and enjoy our house when there’s a few extra people in it. It just feels like there’s a special occasion to me.
Food is the third most enjoyable thing in my life. Friends and family are number two. Friends and family with food are number one. Simply put, if I have to choose between friends and family or food, I’ll pick the people whom I adore. But I am fortunate to have the ability to be greedy and have both and thus I choose the combo!
I’m also a giant fan of cooking. I adore prepping in the kitchen. The quiet process and repetition of technique as well as seeing my progress grow in the kitchen are giant motivators. Observing people I love enjoying the fruits of such labour is payoff like none other that I know. The food doesn’t have to be overly complex but there is an absolute joy in seeing people enjoy good food done well. This feeling is magnified as we get to know the producers of our food and I know the people who worked hard and honestly to provide me ingredients which I try to raise to their heights of my highest capable yumminess.
Yes, ‘highest capable yumminess’ is both a real word and scientifically measurable in my world.
Dana also enjoys the foods from our kitchen in similar but different ways. She has an appreciation (and, indeed, passion) for really simple food in addition to that which takes a lot of work. A bowl of beans, chickpeas or fruit is more than enough to make her very happy. I adore this about her but I’m still learning that restraint can lead to amazing results.
It’s not an intellectual battle (I understand that a great ingredient can be great if left alone) but I’m a classic boy in that regard – sometimes my neanderthal brain kicks in and demands that ‘bigger is better.’ I think this is what happened when I first tried to impress her with my culinary ‘skills’ about 7 years ago and cooked a pasta sauce with (my parents preserved) tomato sauce and 18 other ingredients, including an entire bulb of garlic. I made enough to feed the two of us every meal for 3 days. And for her to take to work for a week. Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot about restraint and portions (although it’s a work in progress).
For the last two mornings, we’ve sat around the high table in our kitchen and chomped on toast, yogurt, muffins and local fruit.Multiple jars of preserves sat near the butter and toaster which pumped out hot bread like an assembly line churning out the latest fad of today that will become the landfill of tomorrow.
Our mini breakfast buffet has been delightful. A gentle rhythm as individual waited for the toaster to pop, drowsy conversation that slowly picks up with consciousness and coffee and the smells and tastes that wake the kitchen. A simple, no-work (if you don’t count the toil of previous days including making the preserves and homemade bread and muffins) meal that delighted the senses.
Maybe, just maybe, I’m learning to appreciate breakfast and the traditions that come with a simple meal…