The Trouble In My Kitchen

The trouble in my kitchen is actually that the kitchen is quiet these days.  Dead, dead quiet.

It’s not that there is no good dishing up going on around here.  I haven’t fallen prey to packaged foods and, truth be told, it’s not even like I’m eating the same things every single week.  The food I make still tastes mighty fine to me (and to those who eat it, or so they say) and it’s still nutritious and balanced and all that nonsense.  And it all still manages to look pretty enough on the plate, see?

French toast with starfruit

Black bean and rice burrito bowl a la Chipotle

Caribbean bean burger on salad, breadfruit salad, avocado slices

But I’m just not dying to get my hands on my knives and pots and spoons, as I used to be.  Check me for fever–this has never happened before.

I have to confess that I was feeling pretty uninspired before I left for Buffalo.  However, the prospect of North American summer produce (I’ve never met a squash or a berry I didn’t want to make out with) and North American supermarkets and specialty food shops was enough to keep me afloat, food-wise.  I had a whole long list of stuff I wanted to make while I was there, some of which got made (grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, all kinds of kooky salads, pork and pork and more pork) and some of which is now on the list for next summer.

However, I was not pushing people out of my way to get into the kitchen during my visit home.  And now, I wish someone would come and cook for me, because despite having picked up a new cookbook and psyched myself up for the triumphant return to my kitchen (where I know where everything is and belongs), I’m still not feelin’ it.

I know, I know:  you’re thinking I have no business griping about fresh produce when I live in the tropics and can get my hands on all kinds of crazy exotic goodies.  Well, yes, I can.  But the problem with having just one season is that you have the same things year-round, for the most part.

It’s pretty tempting to hold a pity party for one in the dining room while I wistfully look at my kitchen and then beg for sushi takeout.  However, it’s probably better for me to analyze the problem and the issues at hand which have led to this sad culinary state:

Dietary issues:

  • I miss my dairy, full stop., and I’m fairly sure the cows miss me.  I don’t want to eat a whole cow’s worth of cheese, but it wouldn’t go amiss on a salad or on my greens or on, well, anything.
  • I also realized, while in Buffalo, that indulging in ricey and wheaty ways to the extreme leads to grogginess and the need to kill someone for a baguette in the extreme, which narrows down my lunch options quite a bit.
  • And let’s not even talk about nuts–I’d trade a year of my life to try any of those fancy  new nut butters or savor a macadamia.
  • To add to the maelstrom of malaise, I try to keep both the man and myself happy at dinner.  Ideally, I’d be eating vegan vegetable, bean and grain feasts with a hunk of pork on the side, topped with shrimp; he is more into the pasta/potatoes/cheese/slight veggies on the side kinds of meals and, quite reasonably for a vegetarian, would not garnish his meal with pork.  Needless to say, it’s a most wearisome juggling act sometimes, even with his valiant assists on meal-planning.

Ingredients:

  • Did I say I’d kill for nuts?  Scratch that.  I’d commit various Class-A felonies for berries, squash, nectarines, and all kinds of seasonal produce.  I love the range of tropical produce, but range does not equal variety if I’m eating pumpkin twelve months of the year.
  • I could get some seasonal goodies at the supermarket or at Pricesmart–I’d just have to swear off buying everything else for the month, because those things don’t come cheap (or even reasonable).

Inspiration:

  • I can’t get inspired.  I try to read foodie blogs to get inspired and feel uninspired.  I try to NOT read foodie blogs and let it happen naturally but it doesn’t.  I buy cookbooks to peruse and end up asking myself why I spent $20 on a book whose ingredients I cannot find/afford/eat.
  • See above.  It just bears repeating.

So I guess my only solution is to have a piece of Martha Stewart’s brain (or, better yet, Nigella Lawson’s brain) transplanted onto mine.  It’s the ONLY logical way out of this.  Until then, I’m not going to stress about being stressed about cooking–and I’ll wait for all your wonderful comments/suggestions/instructions to get out of this funk.

Have you ever had a cooking rut?  How did you deal with it?  Share and help a girl out, please!

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One Response

  1. This happens to me sometimes too! And nothing can get me out of the no cooking funk. Sometimes I just have to let it happen and slack off from cooking for a few days. Eventually I’ll get tired of cereal and takeout! =)

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