The Joy of Cooking...And Eating
Since March there haven't been too many things which we can count on to bring regular joy into our days. I know that many do not enjoy cooking, though they do enjoy eating. Many more people are spending time creating dishes these days than they were a year ago. Empty or almost empty grocery store shelves, especially in the baking aisle, attest to this, as does the surge in sales of small kitchen appliances like pasta and bread machines. I have been finding even more new recipes available on-line than ever before, too. Thankfully, I have always loved to cook. While I have a few standard recipes that I have been making for most of my adult life, I especially enjoy trying out new recipes. Because I plan my meals, I have to spend a little time each week doing recipe research. This summer, especially since my little vegetable garden has started to produce, I have been looking for and using lots of recipes that call for tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and fresh herbs, as well as ones for homemade ice creams, sherbets, or frozen yogurts. I enjoy my time in the kitchen later in the day. And I have always enjoyed the aromas of cooking food, too. Often particular ones can evoke fond memories of times with family and friends. Dinner is my most enjoyable daily meal. My breakfasts are ample, but nearly always the same, and I usually don't eat lunch because my breakfast sticks with me and I don't get hungry again until nearly dinner time. I have lived in this house for nearly all of fourteen years and, oddly this is the first summer that I have eaten my dinners out on my covered porch, in fact nearly every single night since the weather warmed up. I enjoy watching the last of the golfers at hole number two. Sometimes I have deer and or the neighborhood ground hog also dining in the field below my house. Butterflies and sometimes a hummingbird or two will come and enjoy the flowers in my porch boxes. And I have had a few evenings to watch, listen to, and enjoy rain showers of varying degrees. I am already not looking forward to colder days that will force me to return to eating inside the house. But I will still have the joy of planning and cooking.
The dinner pictured above I made on Friday night. It is a Williams-Sonoma recipe for Zucchini Pizza with Fresh Basil. I added some of my cherry tomatoes and, before eating, a splash of herb infused olive oil. I will make this again.