The Reluctant Mermaid

one woman unwilling to swim in the same direction as the others


I GOT IT!!!!! (with an overuse of the word "crap" included)

SO- this is interesting. I just have to explain how I got my Mojo back... no no you cheeky monkeys- again with the dirty minds! Not THAT Mojo (although getting THAT back wouldn't be publicly blogged) It's my cooking Mojo... the one that used to make me drool while reading cookbooks, glossy Gourmet magazines... even the friggin Family Circle, "it's a winner EVERY time" recipes involving a can of "Cream of SOMETHING" that used to be a vegetable or a chicken.... but creamed..... that's really gross now that I think about it.
See it all started when Sage and I were simaltaneously diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Suddenly our world was turned upsidedown. We could no longer eat any food containing wheat, barley, oats, rye or any of their lovely little processed offshoots like Monosodium Glutamate, Modified Food Starch, Malt... etc.
Anyways- I won't bore you with the blah blah blah's of Celiac, I'll just enrapture you with the heroic journey I took through the world of cooking... like a freakin SCIENTIST with all my "guar gum" and "xanthan gum" and "garfava flour"... alas, I kid... I won't even bore you with that crap. I'll just tell you the facts which are that I went from having a passionate love affair with cooking to feeling like I got dumped on my ass; broken up with, "Dear John'ed" by email by the fact that gluten and I were no longer dating. And it hurt... it hurt like a mother trucker oh it hurt.
So fast forward to now... a little over a year later. We eat plain cooked proteins, lots of rice, lots of rice pasta, steamed, unseasoned veggies and a crapload of Outback (they have a GF menu!). I hated cooking. I hated getting excited about a recipe and then having to try to figure out how I can substitute this for that, spending a small fortune on a GF stand in only to have it taste slightly better than sludge. I lost my Mojo. I could have cared less whether we ate Gorilla Munch every night for dinner or not. I was lost, I was afraid... I felt so lonely and isolated and cold... oh mama.... I was so cold and scared (okay okay... that's a bit dramatic) but seriously folks- if you ever loved something, I mean REALLY loved something so much that it defined WHO you were... like a painter... and then suddenly a doctor came along and told you that your paintbrushes and all your paint were making you so sick that you had to throw them all away and use only crayons, chances are you would probably feel like snapping all those perfect, yet unsatisfying waxy sticks in half. Got it? Well... that's what it felt like to me when I had to try to cook GF... it just didn't work.
As a result, we ate a lot of Trader Joes quickserve bags of microwavable brown rice last year.
But not anymore.
Now I have a friend.
Her name is Erin and I pay her loads of money to help me fall in love with nutrition and food again.
She works hard for that money!
She's my (drumroll please) Health Councelor! and I (HEART) her and this is how I know that her stuff is not a load of crap: on MONDAY I chose to make some Very Creamy Veggie Chowder from the Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special cookbook. It has like 5 billion different veggies in it... and cheese. YAY for cheese! Anyways, I've been working a lot lately and it's been hard to prep meals like that because they require a lot of chopping and peeling and dicing and stuff... so my "wonderful husband" asked if he could "help" me in any way when was home for an afternoon break from his job and I said,
"Why YES dear... how wonderful of you to offer! WOW and GEE WILIKERS that's an AWFUL (and I emphesize the word "AWFUL") big help to me... you deserve a RIBBON and a TROPHY and a GIANT AWARD (that last part is what I believe men think THEY think they deserve when doing stuff like this for us "ladies". Don't they always seem like they're standing around a little too long waiting for their pat on the back for stuff that we normally can do with our eyes closed, while on the phone, baking a cake and nursing a baby.... wiith both hands tied behind our backs???)
So when I got home I found the "prepped" veggies which consisted of carrots and potatoes chopped to the size of breadcrumbs and thrown into a bowl, uncovered into the fridge. Who the hell preps POTATOES, hours ahead of time? Everyone and their MOTHER knows that you can't "prep" potatoes and then leave them out to sit... letting all their good starches turn them a lovely shade of puke... and WHO the heck was he cutting these veggies for? Mice? They were so tiny that it certainly appeared that way! What were we going to end up with???... mashed potato and mashed carrot soup that's what!
I got annoyed... I got huffy... I got all "Chef Ramsay in Hells Kitchen" on his ass...... oh I was SO MAD! But the more I felt the heat of anger in my face, the more that little teeny tiny brain started whispering, "wait... you CARE... you CARE about this food! You CARE about the way it was prepared and how it's going to taste and the textures and the seasonings... you CARE because YOU ARE FEELING SOME PASSION FOR THIS SOUP!" that's right... I WAS passionate about it! I was SO passionate that I took it out on my husband who previously thought I didn't GIVE a rats ass for cooking anymore! But I DO! I DO!!! I MISS you enamel soup pot, I MISS you little shredder which always ALWAYS catches my knuckles just when I think I'm safe, I MISS you colander, and garlic press and my favorite wooden spoon that looks like a striped wavy cat tail on the handle... and minty green ceramic mixing bowl that I got for FREE at the DUMP... I think I missed you most of all (sniff sniff... it's okay if you want to go run and grab a tissue readers...I'll still be here when you get back).

Oh for the love of cooking. I'm back. And what does this "Erin" girl have to do with it? Well... she's taught me to look inside myself and figure out the "why's" and "what's that all about" about my relationship with food and the choices that I make. And yes I DO pay her a lot of money for this and NO I'm not telling you how much... I would pay her double what she asked to keep this feeling that I missed for so long.
And my husband? Yes, he IS wonderful... and I appreciate him so much, "small potatoes" and all... for he showed me that I still had passion for cooking by getting innappropriately pissed at his lack of culinary skill and the lack of concern about the proper definition of "dice". It's all good now... he's a good man.

So the soup turned out just fine... a little thick because of the potatoes that were "minced" instead of "diced" but it was, quite frankly the best damn soup I've ever had. And that's just the beginnning for me... it's all about beautiful soup:

Just keep watching... nevermind that silly outfit that Meryl is wearing... trust me and watch


Jennifer said...

I've never had a cooking mojo, but I do hate it when I lose my cleaning mojo...LOL

Anonymous said...

Ok, this post has made me laugh out loud, AND inspired me to get in the kitchen more!
Yay for your mojo!!!
(i know...not THAT mojo!)