I have to confess that I have been in a bit of a cooking rut these past two months. Soups and stews were so two months ago (say my children, and I have to agree). Mealtimes have felt a little on the uninspired side, and I was beginning to worry. What if, all of a sudden, I just didn't like cooking anymore? What, then, did that mean about my future days - years - of trying to nourishingly, healthily and creatively fill all these bellies? A bit of panic was setting in as I thought about how those hollow legs belonging to my two oldest boys are only going to grow as they do, and multiply as everyone else gets older. Oh no.
But then, the food arrived. Not just the leftover dregs of the root cellar (which amounts to nothing but a bit of garlic these days), not the produce picked up at the grocery store, not another box of pasta, rice, or grain. Not. Another. Soup. But food from the garden! First simple little things like scapes and radishes to throw into this or that, and now onto a full list of possibilities. Broccoli and greens and peas and strawberries...and so much more to come. Slowly, but surely, I've been finding myself taking a little longer to make dinner. Playing a little bit more in the kitchen. And getting excited again about what I'm making for everyone to eat.
Some things we've been playing with in the kitchen this week...
strawberry vinagrette dressing for something a little different on the nightly salad
Silly me. I should know by now that it's just the time of year. That it's normal to feel a little bored, stale and (proverbially speaking) hungry in these spring months - with last years food gone, and this years' just going into the ground. It's a relief, and a joy though, to be reminded of just how much I love cooking for my family. This morning, before anyone else was awake, and before I started any other work, I dashed out to the garden to cut all the broccoli and blanch (and freeze) it all before the day gets too full and the room too hot. Coming back into the still-quiet house, I feel glad for another day to play in this kitchen and fill those bellies I love.