Tonight I am in the mood to cleanse my soul so it is time for another confession.
This is it: I like to cook and I love to bake. And by cooking and baking, I mean from scratch…. like from scratch scratch.
I know this seems like an odd confession, not something you would hide in the closet with your Snuggie and your dog-eared copy of Kama Sutra. It is something that has taken me a long time to come to terms with, and something I struggle with now. It is silly, I know, but cooking is, at times, one of those chores that makes me feel too much like a “wife.” I hate doing things that feel like gender duties, it is something I struggle with on a daily basis. The feeling that I end up doing something because I am the woman is not something I embrace, it rubs my inner feminist the wrong way (and trust me, you don’t want to irritate her).
The internal conflict is compounded, of course, by the fact that my husband, though he does grill, like a lot of men, doesn’t cook much. I mean, he CAN cook (though it takes him forever) and he has made some very good meals… and he WILL cook, if I ask him to, but his schedule doesn’t really allow it much during the week and he doesn’t get excited over finding (or even looking for) a recipe for French Onion Soup or the perfect pizza dough like I do. So I do most of the cooking.
I do not like the daily grind cooking—the what-do-I-make-for-dinner pressure. That is exhausting, and I’ll admit that we have easy, quick, or sometimes overly- processed foods several times a week. We also have leftovers a lot… and by leftovers, I mean exactly what we had last night: it is not dressed up or changed up or altered at all. When I cook, I make a lot so I don’t have to cook the next day.
I love finding new recipes and trying them out. I love cooking for other people. I love making something that makes people have to ask: “How did you make it?” I love knowing that my cupcakes have brought tears to peoples’ eyes (slight exaggeration), that my chicken braised in white wine or the smell of my homemade bread will make your mouth water, and that my husband will never leave me because he is addicted to my flan.
I love cooking shows on PBS. I love cookbooks. I rarely subscribe to magazines… except cooking or wine ones. At night I dream of All-Clad, Le Creuset, and KitchenAid.
Since I have come clean, I will share my latest acquisitions with you…
The first, thanks to a blogger friend who received more than one and wanted to share (thanks again Mosey!)
The second, thanks to a birthday bookstore gift card… and because I love America’s Test Kitchen.
So I am getting ready to make pizza, with a long (1-3 days), cold-rise pizza-dough recipe I found, supposedly the closest thing to pizzeria crust. One pizza I have been dying to make from PW’s book is a potato leek pizza (it has bacon and goat cheese too, if that makes it sound more interesting—I think it sounds fabulous) and then I will attempt to imitate the most delectable pizza in the entire world which has a cilantro pesto sauce, topped with buffalo chicken, red onions, banana peppers, and blue cheese (which, strangely enough, I do not like, but on this pizza it is divine!)
Then I am going to make French Onion Soup, I think I’ll try the America’s Test Kitchen recipe, though it is not the one in the book above, I saw in a recent episode that they have perfected it since then… now I just have to find it…