A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Diagnosis: Purple Soup

The strange cooking slump continues. This has never happened to me before for more than a few days: it's like I've lost both confidence and sense. I've made some good food and some crummy food, but I haven't felt right about any of it. It's like being a pitcher or shooting free throws -- something is off, and I don't know what, but the fact that I know it's off reinforces the offness of it.

Too abstract? Here's an exhibit.

I made chicken tortilla soup a few nights ago. Homemade stock, nice roasted chicken, green chiles, tortillas fried in a mixture of peanut oil and schmaltz [I have a newfound academic interest in schmaltz thanks to Melanie] -- good stuff. I had some red cabbage in the fridge that I wanted to use up. "Cabbage would be good in tortilla soup," I thought to myself. But my cooking sense should have followed that up with "Green cabbage, maybe. Red cabbage would turn the soup purple."

But that second voice never spoke, and indeed, the soup was purple.

Tasty, but purple.

Now that I've identified the problem, I think the only way to solve it will be to ignore cooking for a short time -- to keep doing it, but to just stop thinking about it. Again, exactly like shooting free throws.

So last night we had grilled cheese sandwiches with pickles on the side. They were excellent. For lunch today I'm having black beans from a can mixed with cheddar and hot sauce and heated up in the microwave. It hardly counts as cooking. That's the idea.

Meanwhile, in the absence of cooking mojo, there has been more knitting. I made Lawson a kickass scarf. And here is part of a hat.

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