Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Experience

This is the infamous Chalkboard:

It holds "The Menu".

It my most favorite piece in the house. Really and truly. It was a cheap $5 buy at a craft store, and each week I use my colored chalk to map out our menu for the week. I don't know, there is just something so magic about this chalkboard that has made our house more of a home. We've had it ever since we moved in. It gets quite a reaction. People breeze through the kitchen and take a double glance.

"Do you really make that stuff?"


"Do you follow the schedule as laid out - Monday through Sunday?"

Well, when I'm feeling a little frisky I'll do "day" swapping. ...it can get pretty crazy. It rather excites my husband to be reminded of the spontaneous sass of his sexy wife...Thai chicken pizza on Thursday or Saturday?! Chicken potato corn saute on Monday or Wednesday?! What will she do next?!!
He'll never know.

The secret of most of my completely amateur cooking is my beloved Rachael Ray. Oh, I love her. She's my style of cook. Her titles are three times as fancy sounding as the actual skill involved to make them (I enjoy the deceit). Simple yet succulent. Devilishly practical and yet divine. Love her. And the 30 minute meal - bless her! I'm thinking we could do another spin off of Julia & Julia - how about Racheal and Rachel?(Oh, this is genius.)
We eat Rachel Ray food 7 out of 10 times, and the other times are reserved for my other food magazine LOVE:

The Taste of Home Magazine.

I've religiously read every issue of Taste of Home since I was 13. Can you imagine? I know. Dork central. I'm not kidding. I would read from cover to cover (ah..hem..still do). I loved the articles detailing "My Mom's Best Meal", the kitchen makeovers -even the advertising section outlining upcoming trips to the Amish Country. I would meticulously search each issue for the hidden "toothpick" in an effort to be the first to write in and win the
$500 credit towards Cuisinart product!
Oh the glory! (I never won.)

I can't bring myself to throw each magazine away either. It seemed like culinary sacrilege to mutilate the pages by cutting out the recipe cards. So any time I need a recipe, I must search through the stacks I have in my cupboard (my mom also has all of my old ones in an old milk crate - I call her when I need a recipe from one of those). I can usually remember which issue my recipes are in. And if I can't, I enjoy re-leafing through the pages and savoring the good food and stories. I'm reminded of recipes I still have yet to try.

I love cooking.

I love food.

For lack of a better term, cooking is rather spiritual to me. Taking the good of the earth as God has given it, and serving it well-prepared to well-loved family and friends. Carefully selecting the right tomato or avocado from the wealthy bin at the store. Smelling an orange. Grateful for the ability to fill my cart with all the delicious possibilities. The washing of fresh vegetables, the chopping on the wooden cutting board. The scents of onion, garlic, and celery sauteing in a pan. I love the presentation. I love the eating. I love the warmth of a good soup on a cold night. It's like feeding your soul..

I love the experience

Of all the things I want in life, one of my greatest wishes is that my children will remember our home as one filled with food. Good food. Food that is respected. Food that is not wasted. Food that isn't feared, or abused. Good, simple food. Meals that are not pretentious, but hearty. Food that brings conversation and relationships. And I want them to remember me making it for them. Happy to do so, happy to teach, happy to share my subscriptions and recipes someday.

Here is our Menu this week as outlined on our beloved Chalkboard
(click for the recipe):

Spanish Pork Chops with Linguica Corn Stuffing & Cherry Red Wine Glaze

Two Tomato Pasta Arrabiata

Chicken Broccoli Couscous

Chicken Cacciatore

Buttermilk Pot Roast (Taste of Home - a Sunday dinner must have.)

Dessert of the week: Oatmeal Carmelitas
(Courtesy of Bloom)


Ciara said...

Have you tried Real Simple magazine yet? Oooooo... you will LOVE.

Ian said...

Rachel, you should be proud that your blog supplies me with entertainment while I sit and wait for my English final to be done.

jenniferoharra said...

Oh you are too freakin cute! I will have to read this magazine - it sounds great! And I will definitely try out one of these recipes!

Joan said...

You type A, culinary craftswoman, you! Oh, how I LOVE your menu board. It makes me happy that we are experiencing the exact same stage in life together :) It's too fun.