C’s Kitch-ventory.

baklava

i’ve never been particularly prone to “good luck” or “things going well”, but getting diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease as a twentysomething really has me down on my knees screaming, “WHYYYYY???” and shaking my fists at the sky. i love food, all of the foods. i love looking and tasting and chopping and sniffing and marinating and chiffonading and slurping and searing. the culinary shebang.

if i want to do things “right”, my diet is applesauce, pureed soups and bananas, and that is just NOT a LIFE. so mostly i eat how i please and suffer later. most of the time it is worth it.

cooking though, i can do all kinds of that stuff and maybe just not eat it (right). but cooking is my sweet spot, my safe happy island. is there any other activity that is so blissfully consuming in the moment and then so wonderfully rewarding at the end?

as a former peace corps volunteer, i’ve survived (thrived, even) with a tabletop gas burner, one frying pan and one knife (also used to kill snakes). i became a kitchen renaissance woman: i could take a cup of lentils, 2 chicken bones, a stick of gum and BAM! buen provecho, yall! years later, i am still  delighted on a daily basis to be in the great USofA: land of pasteurized milk products, refrigerated meat, and “ethnic” food products (like pasta.) the motherland is really working out for me, culinarily.

now, onto my list of things I like/need/do/don’t do in the kitchen.

My Kitchen Dogma

  • I don’t measure. I use recipes, but I never measure* and I always use more spice or flavor than is called for.**
  • I believe in butter.  To make tasty food, it really really helps if you use the real stuff… sour cream, real sugar, etc. Check yourself before you wreck your cholesterol level, but weirdo “lite” or processed foods have to be worse for you in the long run. I don’t care if I have to spend an extra hour at the gym, I’ll take fresh whipped cream over some poison chemical crap in an aerosol can.
  • Cooking should always be accompanied by stretchy pants, a tasty beverage, and good, loud music.

*exception: baking.
**exception: curries.

Cardinal Ingredients

  • Garlic. Always, forever.
  • Extra virgin olive oil. Duh.
  • Balsamic vinegar.
  • Dill. I put dill in everything I possibly can.
  • Plain yogurt, greek preferably.
  • Limes.
  • Bittersweet baking chocolate.
  • Unsalted butter (in the freezer).

Kitchen Apparati

  • Really really sharp knives. Nothing sexier than slicing through a tomato like it’s butter.
  • Many different-sized bowls. I like to do a lot of prep work before making something complicated and put it all in little bowls- one for diced cucumbers, one for chopped dill, etc. Just like on cooking shows. It looks pretty and keeps things tidy.
  • Big ziplocs. For marinating. You would not believe the number of ways you can cook a chicken breast with a ziploc and whatever is in your fridge.
  • A gas stove. Electric burners make life so difficult.

One Response to “C’s Kitch-ventory.”

  1. Love you! Miss you! Excited to read (and eat) your blog. You really were the MacGyver of the kitchen in Nicaragua – your peanut chicken pasta could take on anything you could find in a restaurant and devour it! Yummmm!

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