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SHE’S BACK and apparently cooking 2,000 recipes

I know you’ve been laying awake at night, tossing and turning asking yourself, “where oh wherrrre has my favorite blog gone?” No, you smart, saucy reader you, no, you’ve been too busy trying to eat right, have a good career, be social, balance work and personal life, work out, be involved in social change, read, fight the patriarchy, and watch all the Netflix, and all that other stuff on your never ending to-do list. I get it, 2017 was a do00ozie of a year and maybe you are a better person than I am, but it made me pull back and take stock of who I am, what matters, and frankly…what doesn’t.

So…I stopped blogging. For more on all that, read this – it will explain everything.

Over my little blogging sabbatical one of the things I realized was that I LOVE COMMUNITY. I mean, I really love it. It has informed cross-country moves, is a central point to G and my marriage, and has broken my heart and saved my life too many times to count. One of my favorite ways of creating and building community is to…drum roll please…HAVE A DINNER PARTY. Who is surprised?

You know what you need at a dinner party (usually, but I think in Europe this is optional)? FOOD!

Know what I really, severally didn’t like doing? COOKING!

I am not good at it. I don’t have any confidence in the kitchen and, truthfully, I have a weird relationship with food so finding shit that I can eat and not feel icky afterward is harder than finding a reason to watch POIROT on the BBC. Sidenote: I got in a dark place about a year ago and pretended to be an Anglophile and watched everything on the BBC, including Poirot. Yes, as in Hercule Poirot, as in the leading character in Agatha Christie’s detective novels. Yes they made a show out of it (several, I am sure) and YES I WATCHED MORE THAN ONE SEASON. Judge away. It was a dark time.

But, I digress…

Here is the deal, I love having people over, I love entertaining, I love having people at my dinner table for hours on end, talking about anything and everything, with the sound of laughter, witty banter, and the clinking of wine glasses filling my house. It fills me up, warms my soul, and nurtures everything good inside me. Do you see the problem yet? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO COOK.

I have been a vegetarian for a decade, avoided dairy at all costs, I have turned my back on gluten…while in FRANCE (ultimate sacrifice), and I have even tried on the whole “I’m just not a drinker” hat (which was my personal hell. You try going through a Chicago winter sober…it’s Brothers K material)

The truth is, I want to love food. And it’s not that I don’t love food (gahd my thighs are a dead ringer for that) but I want to love good food. I want to cook good food. Food that makes your belly warm and your heart happy. Food that brings people together and keeps them there well after the plates are cleared. I want to know how to heal my body through food without having to buy a million supplements.

In a world where everything comes in a box or is sold as “ready in under 30!” I want to be the anti-30 minute dinner. Not that anything is innately wrong with quick and easy dinners, it’s just that when everything in your life is so fast and immediate and easily available sometimes it’s nice to take a dang minute and make something with your own two hands…even if you don’t know what you are doing. Especially if you don’t know what you are doing!

So, with that little rally cry, I have decided to get over my fear of cooking and teach myself how to cook. So here officially starts my journey it teaching myself how to cook by working through my personal OG cookbook, How to Cook Everything (10th edition) by Mark Bittman. If you don’t know it, you should. It’s like the cooking lessons you always wanted to have with your Grandmother growing up or all those cooking lessons you wanted to take but never did. I like to think of this book as the guiding voice in my head in the whole “don’t burn the house down” cooking thing.

CLIFF NOTES:
  • Stopped blogging, but started again
  • Decided to teach myself how to cook, because I love to entertain and want to do it more because I truly believe in the power of community through food — especially in today’s…situation
  • Emailed Mark Bittman, and yes, he is okay with this and no, it’s not a Julie & Julia thing. It’s way better because this isn’t about cooking for cookings sake, it’s about food as a medium for community.

Right, now that we are all caught up…ready to start learning how to cook? Let’s pray that we don’t burn the house down!