At Home in the Kitchen

July 30th

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Healthy summer dinner, post spin-class: sweet potato with garlic and salsa and a colorful salad. I found a new way to prepare sweet potatoes without having to turn on the oven. A rice steamer! I added a couple cloves of garlic and set it for 60 minutes. By the time I came home, my dinner was ready and my home was still cool.

The one thing I miss more than any of my other pastimes when I travel, perhaps with the exception of swimming, is the opportunity to cook. In Africa, there was staff tending to our every need and I never had a chance to get my hands dirty in the kitchen. I returned to a stack of Cooks Illustrated, Bon Appetit, Shape, Sunset, Country Living, and Real Simple. By the time I’d recovered from jet lag, the pile of recipes pulled from these issues towered, varying from homemade marshmallows to fig and arugula pizza.

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Obviously it is time to strike up the band and get my friends over for another community dinner. The invites went out this week for the next soir√©e when, at last, I’ll get the chance to throw on an apron and give a few of these new recipes a whirl. I’ve also set aside a few I know my parents would love; I fondly remember New Years Eve several years ago when I begged my mom to let me cook a family dinner. (She isn’t fond of having others in her kitchen.) I made garlic mashed potatoes and introduced my brother and parents to the sheer heaven that is crumbled blue cheese over a medium-rare petite fillet. We enjoyed a nice Shiraz, good bread, a hearty salad and I’m sure there was something sweet for dessert. My brother still talks about that meal and when he does, I get a little giddy. There is such pleasure in feeding those you love a great meal.

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I booked a ticket to Texas this week to celebrate my dad’s birthday next month. Rather than go overboard with consumerism, we often treat each other to small, thoughtful gifts. Cashews, Swiss cheese, dark chocolate and green enchilada sauce are at the top of my dad’s favorite food lists. I’m sure he’ll enjoy all of these at some point during the visit. Now, if I can just talk my mama into letting me get her kitchen dirty, I can embark on preparing a feast or two.

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Regardless of where I am in the world, if I can cook I feel at home. I bring my culture with me when I can prepare meals for others. I never thought I’d be so happy behind an apron.

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art, Journal, Kitchen Talk
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11 Responses

  1. That looks so delicious and very colorful! yummy…

  2. now i’m hungry. thanks kelli.

  3. Tina in Duluth July 30, 2008

    I want to eat at your house from now on!

  4. These look delicious – and I love that you find such joy in cooking! I wish I did . . . I almost do after reading your post!

    Now I’m off to start lots of baking for my husband’s birthday.

  5. Oh that looks so good Kelli! Thanks for sharing.

  6. FANTASTIC idea!!! My boyfriend has a rice cooker, and I love sweet potatoes. I’ve been using my toaster oven as often I as can (instead of the big oven), but a rice cooker sounds way cooler!

  7. I wasn’t hungry till now! That salad looks soooo good.

  8. Kelli-
    Feast for two? What am I? Chopped Liver?
    Heck no, you can’t dirty my kitchen for 2, but you can for 3! BUT, YOU clean up!~
    Love,
    Moms
    aka Cynthia

  9. Ooh that salad looks good. I tip my head to anyone who can endure more than 10 minutes of spinning.

  10. You can come dirty my kictehn anytime Kelli! Food looks delicious and writing a joy as always.

  11. Wait a minute. Homemade marshmallows?

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