I recently watched the Nigella Lawson Express series of cooking shows. I had never really seen any of her shows and I appreciated her passion for food even though I found the series a little over-scripted. It did get me feeling pretty badly about how little Wes and I cook, despite the fact that we both love to cook. But we also adore eating out and it is definitely something we do--too often--to treat ourselves. Any small hiccup in evening plans usually gets turned into an excuse to go out to dinner. But after Nigella I was fired up. We headed to Uwajimaya two weeks ago and loaded up on lots of pantry items. Younger son is an exceptionally picky eater. The kid won't even eat noodles. Except for Japanese noodles. He loves ramen. So he asked us to pick some up. We got fresh noodles and some miso. Last night in about 10 minutes I was able to cook some noodles while making broth with the miso, a shot of soy and a drop of sesame oil. Then we tossed in some strips of cooked chicken to warm while the noodles cooked. It got a thumbs up from younger son. It's a small victory but we take them where we can.
I've also been reading Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook. It is utterly charming. Each recipe is accompanied by a bit of history or family lore. It's very funny and really just delightful to read. The recipes, while appealing to my deep, deep love of Southern food, are not something I'll be delving into any time soon. The first one I read when I opened the book was for BBQ shrimp. The recipe, which serves four, begins with two sticks of butter and half a cup of olive oil! For four people!
Tonight is the local farmer's market. Hopefully I can go over and get inspired for dinner. Although high temperatures (it's supposed to be near 90° today which qualifies for a "severe weather alert" in Seattle) are one of our favorite excuses not to cook. Maybe if I can find that article by Mark Bittman of 100 meals you can make without turning on the stove...
ETA: I found it!