Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy Place

Best thing about stepping away from writing week was coming downstairs and appreciating the simple pleasure of doing the dishes. That's a hard thing to appreciate most of the time, but it's such a satisfying task: the kitchen is messy, you do some work, and it's clean again. I like that kind of reward: immediate, requiring only elbow-grease.

My happy place is the kitchen. To relax, I bake. So, this weekend, I baked hermit squares, and homemade breakfast pitas. The breakfast pitas were an exciting discovery. The recipe is insanely simple (yeast, flour, water, salt, honey, and BUTTER). Since this was a first try, I made them without any additions, but may try adding some dried fruit and sweet spices, to amp up the breakfasting pleasure. They freeze easily, and can be popped into the toaster and topped with honey and peanut butter. And since breakfast pitas happen to be one of the last must-buy non-local prepared foods in our cupboards (along with rice crackers, almond milk, and some pasta), I'm pleased to find such an easy and tasty replacement. We're trying them out with hamburgers for tonight's Albus-designed supper of hamburgers and homemade french fries. (Albus-designed and Kevin-executed, it must be said).

Our family is edging toward food-weirdness, I realize. Or let's call it eccentricity. We no longer buy cereal except for special occasions (I make big batches of granola instead). I bake almost all of our bread. I'm adding breakfast pitas to that, starting now. We have glass jars of homemade yogurt lining the fridge. I freeze huge batches of chicken stock for future soups. After-school treats are homemade bars or cookies or popcorn. My favourite snack, currently, is pickled beets and turnips--also homemade (my other favourite snack, kim chi, I've not been able to replicate to satisfaction).

Well, we don't make cheese or butter, but then again we don't have a cow. Don't worry by-law officers, no plans for a backyard dairy.

Often, I open the fridge and it looks kinda bare. But the emptiness is deceiving. It's just that the raw ingredients are stored elsewhere, waiting to be made into meal. I like the way we eat. I love the way it tastes, and, the preparation is my favourite part. A good weekend afternoon, at least in part, is spent with the radio on, measuring and pouring and kneading and filling the house with good smells, while putting away food to feed my family for the coming week.

4 comments:

  1. You are amazing Carrie! I can't believe that you have 4 kids, you write, take photos of yourself regularly, go to hot yoga, run, socialize AND...you make so much of your food from scratch! I don't know how you do it. I realize that you do a lot more than what I listed above!

    Good for you!

    T

    Off to register for French immersion!

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  2. Can you please share your recipe for breakfast pitas? Yum!

    PS We are equally weird about food here but who cares! I sometimes look at the different combinations of foods people put on the conveyor belts in grocery stores and think about how differently we all eat.

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  3. Welcome to the weird club! I often joke about how "crazy" we must seem to others! I wouldn't have it any other way :) Glad to know there are other weirdos like us out there too!

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  4. Maybe we're not all weird... just 'normal' for 40 (and more) years ago before advertising and profit took over food. I imagine that my grandmothers were grateful at some levels to walk away from some of the seemingly endless garden, canning, preparation and cleanup when everything showed up on the shelves at the store. But I also know that they both continued to do many of these tasks (their favorite ones?) into their latter years.

    And I love that happy place too - happiest in the kitchen, garden, knitting, where my mind can roam while I do more physical things.

    Congrats on making it through your intense work and into the rest period!
    Leah

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