One of the many blessings that has come from being home more these last couple of months is that I actually have time to cook! Not like ,’throw some chicken and veggies in a roasting pan’ cook, but more like ‘make a dinner that uses more than three ingredients and two spices’ cook!
Last Christmas we were given a book called “Nourishing Meals” (Thank you, Memere!) that we have barely had time to crack open. Not that we didn’t want to, we just rarely found the time to do much more than throw on some curry rice and veggies when we arrived home at 6pm, and this treasure of a book sat sadly collecting dust on the shelf. I never really thought that I COULD cook. Aaron has always been the cook in the family, and I pulled off decent dinners when I had too. I took out the book a couple weeks ago and how happy I am that I did. I had my moments of guffawing at their proposed weekly meal plan, which looked like something from a five start restaurant where the chef’s get paid to cook such delicacies, and figured if could make a meal like they suggest even a few nights a week I’d be pretty happy with myself. We have always been extremely mindful of what we put into our bodies and fully believe that you are what you eat, but had little time to make our menu as colorful as we wanted to.
This past week we’ve had things like Tandoori salmon, Moroccan chicken roasted with dried apricots, turkey and quinoa meatballs, and several different variations of dahl. I made my own sauerkraut (get back to you on the outcome, it’s still souring on top of the fridge), and used whole grain sorghum for the first time. It turns out that with a little direction I actually am a pretty good cook, and although I’m not getting paid what a master chef in a fancy, dancy restaurant would, I am getting rewarded in much richer ways.
There is something about knowing that you are feeding your family whole, balanced, nutritious and DELICIOUS meals that is so completely warm and comforting, building immune systems from the inside out the way they should be, confident that every ingredient you are using is beneficial.
There is something romantic about a simmering pot of lentils; cardamom, turmeric and cumin dusting the counter. Making memories for your family of bubbling pots, chasing children away from the oven, and the look on your lovers face after the first bite of a new hit meal, the lingering scent of warmth and spice.
There is something so satisfactory and guilt free about giving your toddler a snack of a homemade popsicle made with blueberries from a local farm, mango and coconut milk, or sorghum popped like popcorn with coconut oil and cinnamon. All of it, food for the soul.
So cooking and I have started a new love affair that I don’t see ending anytime soon. I could do without the clean-up and complain about it a bit more than I should, but it’s so beyond worth it to have a happy, and healthy family.