Most anyone who knows me knows that cooking is not really my ‘thing’, as the kids say. I’ve been spoiled from birth by being surrounded by wonderful cooks from my family to friends and roommates and generous partners who didn’t mind that I never cooked.
However, after spending a few days in Portland with Kurt and Johanna, for whom cooking gourmet meals is a nightly experience, I got pretty inspired by their routine of going home and cooking food together. Going out to eat with them was so much fun because of the intense joy they take in food (both consumption and preparation) and they both made complicated dishes look and sound so low-key and fun. Some other changes in life have made me think that getting into the habit of cooking easy, hale, hearty meals from scratch would be a good habit to start getting into – so I decided to start changing my long defended and firmly stated personal ban on cooking.
Maple and I came home from the trip all fired up to start cooking. We set ourselves what we felt was a reasonable goal of cooking one meal from scratch once a week. (While I have not always enjoyed cooking I sure do enjoy buying/reading cookbooks, so Maple and I have amassed quite the collection that we’re now just going through.)
Our first week’s endeavor was ‘Asparagus and Mushroom Sauce’ from the Moosewood Cookbook (the cookbook of my childhood). The Moosewood Cookbook was originally published in 1977 and featured vegetarian and vegan recipes. There’ve been a bunch of other Moosewood cookbooks published since then (Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant is the next one I’m buying) but Maple and I wanted to start with the original.
Once finished we poured the sauce over some pasta we cooked up and a couple fillets of our salmon from Chitina. It was delicious. Maple and I marked this one as a definite repeat – the whole process only took about an hour and a half and we both got leftovers for lunch and dinner for two days!
Since I’m such a beginner with cooking my initial learning curve is pretty steep. With this recipe I learned that when a recipe states, “Trim the ends off the asparagus” they mean a whole lot more than just a 1/4 inch!
Maple and Me