WIAW 98 – January Freeze
My post title has two meanings, here…
One is that it finally is actually freezing. We’ve been taking Christmas decorations down and winterizing at the same time – which feels odd… But Rich put a layer of plastic in the air conditioner (which can’t be moved) to stop drafts, and we hauled out the comforter from the back of the linen closet, and the other few odds and ends we do in our apartment. (He used to spend a whole weekend helping his dad winterize their 3 story house – we do know how easy we have it!)
The other is that, while I still get root vegetables, and maybe a little cabbage, fresh, this is the time of year I start supplementing with frozen vegetables. You know I’m all about local and seasonal, but – I’m also all about vegetables, and when there’s just nothing growing locally, I’d rather buy good frozen than often-mediocre not-really-fresh haled across the continent. This is obviously a different equation for all of you living in warmer climates – but here I am… So we get a couple of big bags of good quality frozen vegetables – and I need to make freezer space for them.
For breakfast, I had the last of the gingerbread waffles from the freezer. I will make more – I really liked them – as well as playing with other recipes. Cooked a couple of eggs over easy, and popped them over it. (I thought I had a bit of ham on the side – I don’t see it? Did I eat it first? Later?) Anyhow, I have found that I really like eggs over waffles!
Lunch was leftover curried chickpeas with purchased frozen spinach, over cooked millet. Rich plated it – you can tell, it’s all pretty… His mother painted pretty seriously when she was young, and continued to bring that artist’s eye to homemaking, and then he spent some time in Japan in his teens… And between those influences, he automatically Arranges plates. Even when he’s microwaving leftovers… I need to develop that eye for plating! (I tend more to either everything stirred together – because that’s how I cooked it – or the traditional, and boring, meat at 6 o’clock, veg at 2, potatoes at 10 arrangement.)
And I already wrote about the fish – which used both fish and a small container of pureed spinach from the freezer. (Essentially, I braised the fish in the seasoned spinach puree, for both flavor and ease.) One dish worked for the goal of clearing the freezer, for a meal I could cook quickly (Rich was out and I wasn’t sure when he’d get home, so I wanted something I could toss together if he arrived late,) and, well, for something I could write about… which I also needed. Three potential issues solved with one recipe! My kinda cooking…
Because, if you haven’t noticed yet – Yes, I want good food. Yes, I cook many things from scratch, for many reasons – and I’ll tell you, that made the transition to gluten free much less difficult than it could have been… I still can’t put a great deal of work into any given meal. It has to be easy, and it can’t take too much of my time or energy.
Food must nourish both body and soul. Good nutrition, sure – keep you alive at minimum (and too many people in this world dare to hope for nothing more) and keep you healthy, ideally. But eating is still a sensual pleasure – taste, smell, texture, and yes, it needs to look attractive… Even the sound of sizzling steak comes into it! And the ability to enjoy all that is a fundamental part of our humanity. Not every meal will be a high point – sometimes, It’s Dinner – but every meal should be, at least, pleasant.