I have food issues. I’ve blogged about food several times. I wrote about “fixing” the dinner problem, the discovery of my wheat-allergy, and strategies to avoid self-indulgence danger zones. I don’t think I have ever written about a recipe, meal, or any pleasant food experience. It has been ages since I have taken a photo of my food.
So, being asked about my “one culinary guilty pleasure,” as Laura did with today’s prompt, generates anxiety. My guilt is rarely about what I am eating, or how much it costs. It’s about the quantity. I overeat healthy food just as easily as unhealthy food, and I am most likely to overeat my own cooking. I even snack on the ingredients as I cook.
I like cooking and I like my cooking, which is probably why I eat too much of it. I love fresh ingredients from the farmers market and you can find me there most Sunday mornings, buying a $20 steak (that Tom and I split), fresh salmon and lox, jugs of apple-cider, $8 jars of pickles, bright crisp greens, bunches of sweet juicy carrots, and bags of organic pluots. I have even bought a $10 stewing hen, and made the most magical chicken soup ever. I love eating seasonally: spring snap-peas, summer raspberries, and that cold-hearty tiny kiwi that shows up for two weeks in the late fall. I know that you can get zucchini practically for free in the summer, and will probably never get there early enough to get fresh chicken eggs after the first day of fall.
As you can tell, picking one pleasure from this list would be difficult for me and none of it really makes me feel all that guilty. I spend a lot of money on my food and preparing it takes a lot of time. Since going back to work in April, I have gotten almost complacent about cooking on any night but Sunday after my weekly visit to mecca. Tonight I made cajun-spice-rubbed, locally-raised pork chops, braised rainbow chard, risotto, and baked Delicata squash with brown sugar and butter. The rest of the week I will settle for frozen Trader Joes [insert item here], pasta sauce from a jar, leftovers and takeout.
What could be seen is a bad/sad thing, is actually helping my waistline. When I am not inspired by and focused on food, I busy myself with other things. I stop eating when I’m full, because frankly, it’s not very good. When I am not farm-inspired, I will eat just to nourish myself, and find creative fulfillment away from the kitchen.
And that creative fulfillment comes on strong when you are challenged to write every day. Here is tomorrow’s inspiration:
Prompt #3 (Nov 4)
Think about your early jobs: the one you held after school in high school, that brutal internship, that first fulltime job after college (OMG-welcome-to-adulthood). What’s one mistake or mis-step that you made early on in your work life that still haunts you today? (And one you hope never to make again?)