Tonight, while baking a pecan pie, I had a moment of clarity. A sign emerged from my mixer bowl of sugary goodness. I realized, at that moment, that things could – and, in fact, would – change if I were courageous enough to proceed boldly in the face of fear. And I mean a lot of fear. I’m not much of a risk taker. But I do fully commit to a successful outcome when I start something and that’s where this gets a little hairy. Full emotional investment is the only way I work so it is either all in or not at all.
I have been tossing around the idea of a cooking blog for the better part of a year. In that time, my family and I have moved twice and seen a decent amount of transition in other parts of our lives. We sold our house but couldn’t find another one right away. So, after several months in a small apartment with a big dog and most of our things (including most of my kitchen) still boxed up in storage, we were all liberated.
We are thrilled to finally have a house that is just right for us in the neighborhood we wanted to be in. Moving day was a couple of days ago and I finished opening all of my kitchen boxes earlier today. I have never hugged a small appliance before but, today, it was wonderful. I have been reunited with my food processor along with my cookie cutters, large sauce pans and an eclectic group of pie plates. Much like my dog who ran in circles with excitement in his new yard, I had to play in the kitchen. Just had to.
One of my favorite comfort foods is pecan pie. I have a healthier version of this delicacy that I’ve been making for years (see link below). There’s nothing in the recipe that I wouldn’t normally have on had so I started in on the pie crust without checking to see if I had all of the ingredients. Once the crust was in the oven, I realized I was at the bottom of the brown sugar bag and the bottle of corn syrup. I measured out my remaining supply of both and found that I had just enough of both. The last thing you stir in is the pecans, and I had exactly enough of those too.
This pie clearly wanted to be baked. I had just enough sweetness and just enough nuts. And that really describes where I find myself in life too. I love to cook, write and generally be creative. My career path took me down a much more conservative risk averse path but I crave something that I can be emotionally invested in and be the only one in the driver’s seat. So, this is where (in the words of one of my most favorite musical characters) I close my eyes and leap.
I will be writing about food. Healthy food, not so healthy food, some recipes dairy free and others cheese laden. But every recipe has a story to go with it – either how it evolved or the reactions I got from my family when I made it. My test kitchen panel (husband, daughter, two grown stepsons and a big goofy dog) has widely varying tastes but will almost always all eat whatever I cook. The conversation that ensues is almost always funny and gets everyone invested in what’s for dinner. They look forward to what’s going to hit the table (at least I think they do) because at least a couple of times a week it usually isn’t something they have had before. And for the record, the dog Finnegan doesn’t get the food I cook for the rest of the family. I make him his own goodies. He drools in front of the oven when I bake sweet potatoes. I wipe it up every few minutes for the hour they are in there. Now that’s love.
For me, cooking is about spoiling those that I love. I can make them something they will enjoy and we can all pause the craziness of our daily existence and savor the universal happy of something really yummy for at least a few minutes. The dog, who prefers devouring to savoring, is thrilled to get a tasty surprise any time and is a fixture in the kitchen with me when I cook. So I will share the spoiling with you so you can spoil others. Happy and yummy to all of you!
If you’d like to know more about how delicious food became so important to me, take a look at About Happy and Yummy.
Special thanks to Cooking Light for authoring a recipe so delicious and inspirational!