In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Married Cook

Hello again friends. Before I begin, I will give you a few moments to blow off the metaphorical dust off of these metaphorical pages. Since it has been nearly a year since I last enlightened you all with an update of my always interesting life, I am sure you are dying to know what life changing events have occurred while my blog was left to languish in the oblivion of cyberspace. Well, I can say with confidence that the most dramatic change in my life has been the sudden imposition of the obligation of cooking. No one informed me that once I got married and moved out of the house, I would actually have to work to make food. All these years I assumed that supper magically appeared on the table with minimal effort. Isn't that how it is supposed to work, Mom? Lacking these magic skills, I have been forced to venture into the grocery aisles, purchase the food, and on top of that, prepare the food. Revolutionary. Thankfully, God provided me with a wonderfully supportive husband to ease this burden and help me navigate this foreign territory.

We managed our first trip to the grocery store quite successfully but then came the thinking part. What to cook? Like true born and fed Dutchies, we found ourselves instinctively making a hearty meal of meat and potatoes. Meat and potatoes....familiar, comforting, potentially bland, but still delicious. Cooking together turned out to be a grand time in our tiny little kitchen and we turned our sense of trepidation into a search for adventure. Jordan and I were both aware that falling into a regular meat and potato routine would inhibit our newfound feelings of adventure and we thus decided to institute a weekly "Recipe Night" where we would take turns picking out interesting recipes and cooking them together.

The first week was Jordan's turn to pick, and after scouring the plethora of cook books we received as wedding gifts, he came up with the following menu:
Rhubarb Glazed Pork
Vegetable Risotto
Orange Glazed Beets
While none of the ingredients for the recipes were too off the wall, they were put together in combinations that we, as newbie cooks, would never have imagined putting together. The meal tasted fantastic and we learned a few things along the way: 1) Don't cook Risotto unless you have great endurance and strong wrists (Jordan has both, so it turned out great!), 2) Boil beets right away because they take a really loooong time to cook and 3)Beets are best in moderation.
This week was my turn to cook and after tasting Nepalese food from Jordan's colleague, I was inspired to incorporate curry into my selection. I also was interested in finding a recipe with quinoa (sounds like keen-wa) after hearing about the greatness of the grainy substance on the radio. Abandoning the cook books, I hit up the world wide web and searched for curry quinoa and found a recipe for Red Lentil Curry on a bed of quinoa. So we set out to make this dish, loading it with a TON of vegetables and spices for some healthy (and vegetarian) goodness. The end product didn't look the greatest and made the house smell like curry, but it was a fantastic new discovery. Lessons learned from this meal: 1)Quinoa is expensive so don't buy it at Nutter's, 2) Lentils are cheap in bulk and they taste really good, and 3) Vegetarians have good ideas for creating interesting meals.

So there you have it. I am making progress and deciding to enjoy the new endeavour of cooking. After all, I LOVE eating, so I might as well learn to love the process of creating. If you have any ideas for recipes for Jordan and I to try, just let us know!