Tuesday, June 14, 2011
cole's kitch moves again
Sometimes, when it comes up in conversation that I write a food blog, I am asked what kind of food I make. I've always found this to be a difficult question to answer. It started out with a lot of veggies, but that's not always been the case. Usually it's vegetarian (at times, even vegan), but sometimes there's meat. At points, I'm cooking familiar dishes from my childhood, while at other times I'm all about exploring new foods, recipes, and techniques. From dietary detoxes to dinner parties, what comes out of my kitchen seems to be a sort of culinary extension of my mood and of my life.
When I'm energetic, I'm flipping through cooking magazines and websites, looking for new and interesting dishes to explore. Lots of local fruits and veggies in my dishes are a sign of balance, because it means I have both the energy and time to shop the farmers' market and create something with the treasures I find. There have been cleanses when I'm hoping that clearing my body will help clear my mind (it does), fancy and involved meals at home and at restaurants when I'm happy. Long lapses between posts happen when I'm busy or using my emotional energy elsewhere and unable to summon the motivation to be inspired in the kitchen.
One reliable source of inspiration for me is books on food and cooking. Last week, after having dinner at my friend Emily's house, she sent me home with a book she read recently: The Kind Diet. While I have trouble getting behind the become-a-vegan-save-the-planet portions of Alicia Silverstone's writing, the book did serve as a good reminder that food is fuel for the body and mind, and what you put in definitely has an impact on how one feels - both physically and emotionally. Bonus: I have total control over what fuel I choose (something comforting given the lack of control in many other facets of my life at the moment... though the rest pales in comparison to the biggest and scariest monster that haunts me: my mother's cancer).
So, while in the past, I've let my mood dictate my food, I think I'm going to try something a little different. I'm going to see if I can select my food in a way that will help direct my mood. I want to feel strong and like I have the energy needed to deal with my life and all that's going on right now. I've experimented enough with diet in the past to have a good idea of the foods that will help make me feel this way: whole grains and fruits and vegetables - foods in their most natural form.
So the current answer to the question what kind of food do you make? becomes: mood food. In terms of main ingredients, this will manifest as a focus on whole grains and vegetables. This isn't such a departure from many of the types of dishes I've featured in the past, but it does mark a shift in how I'm thinking about the ingredients I choose.
In addition to this shift, cole's kitch is also changing venues. This has happened a number of times over the course of my blogging and, similar to the food, is another reflection of what's happening in my life. The cooking and blogging started from a kitch in Burlingame with cedar cabinets, cool green tile, and stainless steel appliances. It was the preparation and conversation site for many dinner parties with old and new friends. Next came blue granite countertops, a Viking range with some attitude, and loads of natural light in sunny San Carlos. Perhaps it was partially the environment, but the food cooked in this kitch seemed lighter. Cleansing diets were somehow easier and more enjoyable in this bright space. Most recently, I've been cooking mostly for one (when I cook, which has been much less frequent than in past kitchs) in a cozy but convenient kitch in Palo Alto.
My next venue? Back to the Northwest, to a place that predates my California adventure: Poulsbo, Washington. In the kitchen of my mother, I hope the meals I make for us both will foster the energy, healing, and comfort that are much needed right now.
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