I’m ashamed to say that last week during the great “Oh-my-God-the-cleaning-lady-is-coming-so-I-must-clean!” madness that occours each month, I tossed 4 grocery bags of food and garbage out of our kitchen. Weeks-old take out, spoiled salmon that was never made into something wonderful, a strange, brown, milky blob of something that looked like it used to be a pear… All gone. The inside of my fridge was scoured and I turned my attention to our pantry, and realized how strangely certain feelings manifest.
I’ve always been an emotional eater. If I’m celebrating, cake and champagne. If I’m depressed, cold Reese cups and PBJ. I’m feeling lately, though, like I may be an emotional cooker as well. Perhaps I need to be in a good state of mind to turn out beautiful dishes (I wonder if Athena Calderone ever feels this way?).
For weeks, my beautiful, functional kitchen has sat sad and unused, while nightly trips to nearby resturants, morning stops at the Juice Bar, and far too many deliveries of Jimmy John’s have taken the place of a happy pot of bean soup or crunchy, salt and peppered Brussels Sprouts. It’s difficult to get motivated to come up with yummy meals every night, and make sure that we’re eating enough greens throughout the day.
It was this weekend’s quick jaunt to Chicago, though, that lit a fire under my rear end to snap out of it, and get back to cooking. Saturday night, a trip to Bistrot Zinc in our Chicago hood began with a shared bowl of steamy onion soup. Plenty of melted and bubbly Gruyere and tons of onions, served in a footed bowl sparked a memory in me of the onion soup at the now-closed le Coop here in Louisville. Chef Bobby Benjamin would top each bowl with a split and roasted piece of bone, marrow warm and game-y and perfect- a simple dish, but one that was comforting and easy to make. All of a sudden, I wanted to be back in my kitchen, bringing home packages of groceries, setting to work.
This week is a short one, with us leaving again on Wednesday to head to Cleveland for the Thanksgiving holiday, which means only 48 hours of possible cooking time. While I don’t think I can snap out of this funk quickly enough to churn out two full days worth of delicious and wholesome meals, I’m certainly going to try.
** photos by Kyle Lueken **