The comfort of cooking

On a personal note, I just want to thank my friends and blog readers who extended their sympathies or lent a shoulder to cry on or made me laugh and kept me company in the days and weeks after Jerry’s death. It really helped to feel as though I had plenty of places to turn when I needed to not be alone with my thoughts.

I realized last weekend that I hadn’t been in my kitchen for a while, thinking that I didn’t have the time or the energy or the presence of mind to cook myself anything.  I ate a lot of burritos and take-out pizza, and cereal, and managed to get through the last month.  But then when I thought about it, I knew I had made a mistake in cutting out my time in my kitchen.  

I love to cook and I love to bake.  Baking is especially relaxing because its so methodical, and by following a recipe you kind of have to give yourself over to it, and for a control freak like me, that can be a great release of anxiety.  And cooking is great because it allows me to get creative and to just stop thinking about other things for a bit and let the chopping and stirring and other mechanics of making a meal take my attention.  So on Monday I decided to make a dinner.  I had a final exam in my finance class on Monday night, so I knew I wanted something comforting and hearty that would keep me satiated during my 3 1/2-long test.

Risotto it was.  With vegetarian chicken-style stock, onions, butternut squash, and parmesan cheese.  MMM.  And some arugula salad with my homemade balsamic dressing.  It really did the trick.  The recipes (or approxmiations) can be found here and here.

Tonight I’m planning to make a spicy carrot and peanut soup with lime juice, and other “on-tap” items are a winter-veggie pasta primavera, some gluten-free vegan carrot cupcakes, and some homemade seitan.  I’ll try to post what I make in the next few days.

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