I have always enjoyed cooking at home. Particularly after spending a whole weekend afternoon cleaning the house (scrubbing down the entire bathroom, dusting, mopping, doing laundry and putting things back in place), I put a record on my turntable, line up my fresh ingredients on my kitchen counter and start chopping. I like to heat up my pots and pans on the stove while I prepare ingredients so that the cooking portion will be fast. There is nothing better than smelling baked goods in the oven, garlic heating up in olive oil, or onions and asparagus sauteed in butter.
There is something magical that happens in these moments–a warm positive energy fills the room, while calmness settles into my mind similar to practicing yoga. Absolute concentration is required when using sharp knives, hot oil and onions that could burn your eyes out. In my style of cooking, I also try to maximize my time by storing away spices, produce and dirty dishes in the sink so that when I am done cooking, there is a minimal amount of cleaning that is required.
When I am cooking alone, a lot of reflection takes place as well. I mostly reflect on how happy I am with my life, and how far I have come from some life-changing events that took place in the last 2 years. Maybe this is why those women who cooked–Julia Child, Julie Powell and Nora Ephron (director of Julie & Julia) found so much joy and solace in cooking.
Here are some dishes that turned out excellent from the past weekend: