I have to admit that I have been for a few months, well, less than inspired in my cooking. We get in a rut easily and cook the few things that come quickly to mind.
Then I will read something or hear something that sparks my imagination….even for, wait for it…..yes…..cooking.
I begin to think of making a meal as something more than just feeding the family. Something that could nourish more than just bodies.
That sounds a little pompous when I actually write about it. Still, when I read just about anything from www.smittenkitchen.com I get inspired.
Her pictures make me want to cook! That added to hearing Andi Ashworth again at our women’s retreat, and reading her article Learning to Cook, and Why it Matters that desire to cook increased. (By the way, if you are looking for that small-rainish refreshment, grab a cup of coffee and spend some time slowly reading the articles at arthouseamerica.com. Wonderful nourishment there).
So, I started trying some new things, or some different takes on old favorites. And….I started taking pictures of the food. How silly is that?!
Pictures of bell peppers that became part of a pretty good black bean soup. Oh and…
Carnitas! The black bean soup is in the mug. The Carnitas were fall-apart tender after cooking for 2 hours in orange juice and lime juice. Topped with just a slice of avodaco, a bit of pickled red onion and some lime juice…oh my!
Last night I tried another black bean soup for Biblestudy…
This one had pumpkin in it. I never would have attempted that without the encouragement of the Smitten Kitchen. It turned out warm and wonderful on a rainy Fall evening.
We finished it off with a pear custard pie. This one came from Shutterbean.com and reading what she did while the pie was cooking is worth clicking over. Although the pie was not my favorite (it falls apart a bit without a crust), I finished it off on the drive home, nibbling little pieces of custard and pear…
So, I’m looking at cooking a little differently. We still had pizza once this week, and I’m not sure what we’ll have tonight. Maybe cereal.
We’ll have that cereal at the table, all sitting and talking and listening. Because the cooking is just part of the equation….the eating is art as well. Edith Schaeffer inspired Andi Ashworth, as you’ll see in the next paragraph. Andi inspires me….
One of the most life-giving authors I discovered in those early days was Edith Schaeffer. Fireworks went off in my brain when I read her books. Edith saw family life and caring for other people as an artwork. The details of caring for human life were the playground of creativity and the place where our choices were significant in communicating love. Her language captured my imagination and I began to long for good stories in our household, and to value the work that might bring them about.
My boys are little, but the stories already begin to flow. And when we are able to be with my family in New Mexico the stories flow even more because my mother already placed a foundation of meals and stories. I’m just continuing the story…