Coping with not cooking
A lot of people, I am assuming, when they get to their city for the first night, like to get to their hotel, freshen up, and head out on the town. Realizing Breanne and my situation are different than most, we tend to head for the grocery store! It wasn't until this trip (only have been gone for 2.5 weeks now), that I passed the meat section, and felt my heart drop. Swear to God. I stared at the meat section, and missed my cutting board, sauce pan, saute pan, broiler pan, knives, and the inspiration to cook.
There's something about cooking that makes you feel alive. I never use recipe's and cook everything based on how I believe I can build the most flavor from start to finish, with the ingredients I have, and of course cook with the proper technique of whatever I'm using. By that I'm saying tougher meats and veggies (roots) will go longer, a good fresh product (steak, fish) will get minimal work, searing to hold moisture, brown the skin, and get the goodies left behind in the pan, and creating a sauce from your drippings and using either butter, olive oil, red/white wine, cognac, using different salt options instead of just throwing salt in, having sooo many herbs on hand at any given time to utilize...Ah man, I miss it.
And so, I was standing there, dodging people in this very small, narrow Hungarian grocery corner store, thinking of cooking. Breanne and I grab the basics for us, yogurt, bananas, apples, peanut butter, bread, cheese, and jelly. Outside of that, we go for pasta, frozen pizza, orange juice, salad items, and wine.
So came home from the grocery store, and made pasta in the cutest little kitchen ever (pictured above). Very basic: Pasta, pasta sauce, cut mini loaves of a baguette to toast, and hid green beans in the bowl. I think Breanne and I sat down to eat this little meal around 10pm, and we had King of Queens on to watch! It was just relaxing to have on the tv, have dinner, and get to bed. King of Queens was on 1 of 2 English channels we get here, so it was a fun treat.
Next day for lunch, I was able to put some items together for a toasted sandwich. Cut the mini baguettes in thirds, sliced a delicious green apple, had some charcuterie meat left over, spinach, and topped with a creamy golden gouda on top. Using the gouda (melted) was just cheating, and the sandwich toasted was delicious.
That's also the fun part about cooking. There are certain items you put into a dish, that no matter how badly you screw up, those items ensure succeess. Expensive items usually fall into this category (like an expensive cheese), expensive meat/fish/chicken/pork, anything with fresh herbs always helps, I believe organic veggies (in season), and butter butter butter : ) Cheating
We've landed a couple great opportunities to help some communities out (India and Cambodia so far), and we've applied to help for other projects that would include me cooking for the organization. If this happens, I will be a very happy man. Or if we get to southeast Asia, and I still haven't been able to break out and cook, I'll just head down to the ocean every morning to spear fish, bring a cast iron skillet, some butter, and eat fish on the coast every day.