In this first week of 2011 I’ve been cooking a lot. I forget that cooking, like so many other activities, is a habit. Once you get the ball rolling, it doesn’t feel like so much of a momentous task. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen when I was in Toronto over Christmas, and it’s carried over into the new year. (There was a lot of cooking in our household in Greece as well, but it was different – more assembling than cooking, not as much time spent by the stove because it was 35 degrees out already.) I’ve been trying to make new things, and have recently started cooking some of the Filipino recipes my mom made while I was growing up, things that were so every day that it never occurred to me to learn to make myself, like chicken adobo, which is chicken simmered in vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and broth with some bay leaves, ginger, whole peppercorns and garlic cloves tossed in for good measure. My mom told me to add a bit of sugar too, and I did. It cuts down on the saltiness.
I made a loaf of magic no-knead bread at the beginning of the week, which was enough for most of my breakfasts when I went back to work (all whole wheat flour because I’m trying to be a bit more virtuous with my baking, at least for the first week of 2011, anyway.) It’s always a good way to start the day by eating something you’ve made with a little flour and water. Finally, this morning, after forgetting how potent a few garlic scapes can be when stirred with scrambled eggs, tried to counteract the lingering pungent smell with a lemon yogurt cake. As you can guess, our little home has been very, um, fragrant recently.
Speaking of things I’ve made, another review of Bats or Swallows was published recently, this time in the magazine Women’s Post. Have a look; it’s a nice review. Another reminder that I should get back to work on things that aren’t necessarily edible.