Monday, August 31, 2009


And no, I don't mean the August heat. The South chilled down today into the 70s, believe it or not. The weather seems out of kilter - we don't get cool this quickly, and often September is as warm as July. I'm sure it'll warm up again and I'll complain, but for now, Wow.

Today's topic is cooking, a chore that is not among my favorite. I've always thought a lot of work went into something that disappears down gullets, leaving nothing but dirty dishes. Don't get me wrong - I love to eat. But fixing meals ranks right there with raking leaves - a necessary evil. Tonight, however, I realized I control my destiny to some extent. I don't cater to everyone else's whims and fancies, and pretty much put on the table the flavors I like. Garlic, butter, tomatoes, eggplant, squash, onions - anything fresh and seasonal ends up in my recipes. Speaking of recipes, I love reading them - they're like mini-stories. But follow one exactly? Please. It's like plotting a book according to a set formula. What's the fun in that? Sometimes I produce a dish that makes everyone happy (and a red-letter day that is!), and all is well. Other days, it's Chinese take-out and I don't go near a stove. In a way, it's like writing. When it flows, everyone's happy because mama's happy. When it's a pain the patooty, watch out. . . .

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