Maybe there's something in the air or maybe it's from the crazy temperature swings in DC lately, but I've felt a little...well, off lately in different spheres of my life. Over the last couple of months I've found myself getting so close to great things only for them to fizzle out, blow up in my face or leave me in a state of perpetual hand-wringing limbo. I'm well aware that I tend to get all excited over saplings of good ideas, that I get myself so worked up that I often have to run a few miles to bring myself back down to earth. And when I hit that lull after the storm of frenetic energy, when I'm trying to prevent or stop the worrisome hand-wringing, I usually find myself in a place I'm most comfortable: the kitchen. For the record, my kitchen is actually quite uncomfortable in the summer and doubles as a sauna, but you get what I mean.
I always come back to a quote from Gabrielle Hamilton that sums it up rather nicely: "What I have loved about cooking my entire life, especially prep cooking, is the way that it keeps your hands occupied but your mind free to sort everything out. I have never once finished an eight-hour prep shift without something from my life--mundane or profound--sorted out."
So I've been doing a ton of cooking lately. That is to say, I've been grilling four pounds of shrimp, two pounds of tequila lime fish tacos, and slicing up bowls full of pineapple, watermelon and mangos with fresh mint at backyard parties. I'm pretty sure my friends don't mind when I ask if we can grill at their house when the end result is all of us being so satiated we end up napping on various couches (yeah, that happened).
On my own I've been whipping up lightly fried soft shell crabs, lightly battered zucchini blossoms stuffed with herbs and ricotta, pork chops with a spicy black coffee rub, summer succotash with fresh corn, patty pans and baby zucchinis. Oh and there was the entire pot of fettuccini with frutti di mare, honey lavender ice cream and lavender shortbread cookies dusted with lavender sugar. And the batch of quick dill pickles. And the fresh pesto with salty ricotta mixed in.
In the midst of all this hoping and waiting for good things to come to fruition, at least I'm making some good food.
Take a bite: www.bonappetitfoodie.com.