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talking meme: me + cooking

This post is for apgeeksout, who asked about my favorite dishes to prepare and to eat, and for [personal profile] schneefink, who also asked me about cooking.

To be honest, I have a love/hate affair with cooking. On one hand, nothing makes me feel so much like an accomplished, able adult than pulling something solid and filling out of the oven or off the stove burner. It comes with a sense of well-being, of providing and being provided for. When I dish up a bowl of soup on a cold day and eat it while looking out the dining room window at gray sky and stark empty branches, I feel a sense of being in the right place, of belonging in the space and time I occupy that I don't get in the same way from any other thing.

On the other hand, I don't actually like doing it very much! ghostyouknow27 and I frequently lament the fact that we have to eat at all. It's such a pain! I especially hate the uncertainty of trying new recipes, of spend an afternoon on something not even sure I'm doing it right, much less whether I'll enjoy the results even if I have done everything right. Plus everything takes longer when you cook something new.

I enjoy cooking recipes I know well a little more, though. I cycle through the main season-appropriate recipes I know and like until I get tired of them. Right now there's a lot of corn/beef/bean casserole with Fritos, potato soup, oven-fried chicken plus side, and oatmeal with either peanut butter or apple sauce. Pretty soon I'll be roasting a lot of yams, too. I love yams.

Probably one of my favorite recipes to eat is beef stew, but that one is a ton of work no matter how many times I do it. Those of you who knew me while I was in Honduras may remember the housemate; one of the many reasons I loved living with her was that she was totally willing to dredge and brown the meat if I'd do the rest. IT WAS GREAT. Dredging/browning is so messy and so boring and takes forever.

And if you're going to have stew, you also have to have biscuits. I use a recipe I got from my dad, who got it from Modern Cooking, published in the 60s with a distinct and amusing housewifely vibe to it. The biscuits are delish, though. And if you end up with more biscuits than you have stew, you can spread the remainders with butter and homemade strawberry freezer jam, which incidentally is what God made freezers for. YUM.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 2nd, 2014 02:59 am (UTC)
Homemade strawberry jam is totally why God made freezers!

Mmm, beef stew. I'm getting a little hungry just thinking about it!
Dec. 2nd, 2014 02:52 pm (UTC)
Now I am trying to think if I feel up to making stew this weekend. So much work, but so tasty.
Dec. 2nd, 2014 08:11 am (UTC)
I'm reading this and it's making me hungry. Even if you're not super fond of the activity, it's such an awesome skill to have. I eat literally the same thing for dinner five nights a week - raw baby spinach and chicken dusted with various spices, so I kind of like looking in on posts like this!

Also some day I am going to have to try an American biscuit because you make them sound delicious.
Dec. 2nd, 2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
Hah, I don't feel like I have the skill of cooking? I have the skill of preparing specific recipes. It doesn't feel the same. But I do generally eat more than one kind of dinner in a week, so. (Full disclosure: sometimes that dinner is popcorn.)

American homemade biscuits from scratch are delicious. Hot out of the oven, crusty and flakey, and then you put butter on them and jam if you are so inclined. If you ever came to visit, I would make you some. (You should totally come visit.)
Dec. 2nd, 2014 08:53 am (UTC)
It's always so interesting to see how people feel about food, and what they like. I feel very fortunate to have a husband who loves to cook, since I'm really not a fan.
Dec. 2nd, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
Aw man, I am jealous. Cooking for one is a pain. It's great going home to visit family, because there are ALWAYS leftovers in the fridge. It's great.
Dec. 2nd, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
Well, you know I like to cook, but a lot of this still rings familiar. I don't much like lengthy recipes, or baking (it's just me! What am I going to do with all the cake?), though I enjoy experimenting with quicker dishes a lot. This month's recipes (next Monday's post) are perfect for me, just little tweaks on things that I know will work.

Also, did you know we don't do freezer jam over here? Literally no clue. Life: full of oddities.
Dec. 3rd, 2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
Freezer jam is nifty because it's less work than the other kind. And it is yummy, because it's like sugar flavored with strawberries. :D
Dec. 10th, 2014 01:37 pm (UTC)
Mmm, beef stew; it is definitely stew weather in my neck of the woods.

I tend to like old, familiar recipes best, too. The kind where you know your measuring doesn't have to be too precise and you can be reasonably confident it'll come out tasty even if you tweak it a little.
Dec. 10th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I end up doing some tweaking regardless, but that often goes badly with new recipes! With old recipes I know exactly how much tolerance they have to adjustments.

Of course, in order for it to even be an old recipe, it probably has a pretty high tolerance - recipes that are finicky don't tend to get made too often in my house. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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