Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's cooking?

I took trumpet in high school to get out of cooking class. Then we had 4 kids and I've never played trumpet again. But I've cooked thousands of meals!

A closed mind
This move has taken the cooking right out of me. I'm not yet at home in my kitchen. I pull two portable burners out of the cabinet when I need them, rather than having a stove. We don't have a regular oven: we have a fandangled halogen and microwave combination. I know how to use a microwave so that's fine. But the other part - for baking, roasting, and grilling - is beyond my energy or interest level. It exhausts me to think of adjusting top and bottom lights "just so," even with a cheat-sheet.

Some people cook by recipe: they like the formulas someone else comes up with. I prefer to read cookbooks and recipes as suggestions. "What's in my cupboard that might turn out like that?" The proportions, ingredients, and cooking time seem flexible. 

I'm also an "appetite" cook: "What am I hungry for?" I'll browse the fridge, freezer, or cupboard for a base ingredient and start adding to that. Usually there's a meal on the table in 10-15 minutes. In our new space, we have a full spice cupboard. Rather than looking at spice jar labels, I've always opened the lids to smell combinations to add to a dish. (Mind you, filing spices by type of cooking - American, Asian, baking, etc. - helps me sort options. 

Waiting for the chef's return
But I can't think of what to cook. I've been microwaving stuff or making soup or ramen. Chocolate sounds good - I might break off a piece of that to eat with raw snap peas for lunch. If I get hungry enough, I figure I can thaw something from the freezer or head for our full pantry. But I'm not that hungry when I go into the kitchen. Hopefully it - and my cooking skills - will settle down soon.

Have you faced a block in something that's always been easy or natural for you? If so, how are you dealing with it? Got a tip of how to move through the transition?

Read more:
*The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV

*This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7 ES

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume II. On feeling: I think the thrill of the Pagan stories and of romance may be due to the fact that they are mere beginnings—the first, faint whisper of the wind from beyond the world—while Christianity is the thing itself: and no thing, when you have really started on it, can have for you then and there just the same thrill as the first hint. For example, the experience of being married and bringing up a family cannot have the old bittersweet of first falling in love. But it is futile (and, I think, wicked) to go on trying to get the old thrill again: you must go forward and not backward. Any real advance will in its turn be ushered in by a new thrill, different from the old: doomed in its turn to disappear and to become in its turn a temptation to retrogression. Delight is a bell that rings as you set your foot on the first step of a new flight of stairs leading upwards. Once you have started climbing you will notice only the hard work: it is when you have reached the landing and catch sight of the new stair that you may expect the bell again. This is only an idea, and may be all rot: but it seems to fit in pretty well with the general law (thrills also must die to live) of autumn & spring, sleep and waking, death and resurrection, and “Whosoever loseth his life, shall save it.”

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