October 06, 2012

Take me to your Kitchen...

Or perhaps I should have called this "Cooking is a contact sport". 

Now, having said that, I hope I haven't set back female progress about 60 years.  The truth is I just love creating meals for family and friends.  I don't claim to be some fantastic home chef by any means, but every bite is made with love and I'm always glad to hear the silence as the plates are rapidly emptied. 

Like a lot of people who enjoy cooking, I started as a child.  While my mother could manage some things, she really did torture food.  Of course I only truly realized that after I'd been on my own for a while.  But either way, she started me on my adventure.  And the passion for cooking and food has only grown over the years. My ideal kitchen would have two full ovens, six cooking burners, loads of counter space to work on, a butcher block, you name it.  My favourite thing to do when I travel is to try the local food.  I don't mean the stuff they serve in restaurants that cater to tourists.  I want to eat the stuff that locals eat on a daily basis.

If anyone asked me what my favourite thing is to make, I really wouldn't know how to answer.  I love making desserts, breakfasts, dinners...I can't even pick a favourite theme, let alone a favourite meal. 

For breakfast, eggs are king.  One of my favourite ways to make an omelet is to take three eggs, crack them into three separate bowls and beat them.  If you want anything in the omelet, make sure it's sliced very very thin.  My preference is shredded cheese, paper thin slices of orange peppers or tomatoes, or even slivers of ham and onion.  So get the prep work done first because the cooking happens fast.  Start your toast before the first egg hits the pan.  Heat the pan and when it's ready, drop the first beaten egg into it.  Quickly tilt the pan around so that the egg spreads out over the bottom.  It will cook fairly quickly, so be ready to sprinkle in your cheese (or whatever), but not too thickly.  Then, using a couple of spatulas, carefully roll the egg up jelly-roll style and leave it in the pan off to one side.  Now drop in the second egg and spread it around, making sure it connects to the first egg.  Now toss in your cheese on the second egg.  Starting with the first egg that's already sitting there rolled up, roll it back so the second egg is now wrapped around the first one.  Leave it off to the side and repeat with the third egg and cheese.  Slide your "egg roll" onto a plate with your toast and eat.  We call these our "nest eggs" and they are actually more filling than if you simply made a 3-egg omelet the usual way. 

This time of year a nice hearty soup is the best option for lunch.  Some of our favourites are French Canadian yellow split pea, leek and potato, onion, and a very hearty vegetable.  For dinner, we often enjoy chicken and dumplings, beef stew, shepherd's pie, and of course various pastas with either my homemade tomato or homemade pesto sauce.   Desserts, needless to say, are fun for an entirely different reason. 

I'll have to write more another day, because right now I've got a loaf of banana bread to take out of the oven and have to start the prep work on the slow cooker stuffing I'm making for the Thanksgiving celebration of a club we belong to.  Keep on Cooking! 

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