Summer food in winter

Living in Kansas makes for an interesting life.  Not the least of which is the weather, which changes sometimes several times in a day.  in January and early February we suffered through sub-zero temperatures with snow and ice and biting winds.  Then, all the sudden, the temperatures started to rise and the snow melted.

All of the sudden, we had two days where the temperatures reached the sixties and one day it was 70 degrees, with very little wind.  Trust me, in Kansas the days with little to no wind are few and far between.  I took off work early and my husband and I hopped on our bikes and rode a little over ten miles.  Yes we are still feeling it, but it was so worth it.  Seventy degrees in February, with little wind and it would be a sin against God not to take advantage of it.

So the other sin would be not to grill out and eat outside when it was so perfectly beautiful.  After the bike ride, I fired up the grill and proceeded to think about what I wanted to do.  Summer food in winter can be difficult.  The garden is dormant and it is hard to replicate the sheer wonder of summer produce.

Nonetheless, I wanted to try.  In the midwest, there is a wonderful dish that uses fresh green beans, some bacon, ham or fatback, onions and new potatoes out of the garden.  The joy of course is picking the green beans and digging around to find those new little potatoes.  Throw them in a pot and cook up a “mess” of them.

I had a handful of fresh green beans in the refrigerator.  I had purple fingerlings in the basement harvested this fall from the garden.  Now purple potatoes are truly ugly when cooked in water (think gray mush), but are lovely roasted.  I decided to snap the green beans, half the purple fingerlings, add some yellow onion and some carrot for color.  Tossed them in olive oil, added some salt and freshly ground pepper and put them in a grill pan.

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So far, so good.  I had the green beans, potatoes and onions taken care of.  Next for the “pork”  I had two boneless pork loin chops.  I seasoned them with some homemade mesquite seasoning and put them on the grill.  So I had the makings of, in musical terms, a “riff” or an improvisation, of an old school summer dish in the middle of winter.

It plated up like this:

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Sitting outside in seventy degree weather on February 18, was a joy!  Here is my husband ready to enjoy his meal:

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Such a gift of a perfect day in the midst of winter.  I know there are many cold days yet ahead, and a few warm ones thrown in for good measure.  On this day, I enjoyed the harvest of last fall, a bike ride in near perfect conditions and a meal that was almost sacramental in the sharing with someone I love.

 

 

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Communal Cooking

Last week, I took an unexpected trip to Goshen to help our my daughter who had been hospitalized.  http://revcindylee.wordpress.com  After making arrangements for things at church, I threw things in a suitcase and boarded a plane and finally made it to Goshen.

The first thing on my agenda after visiting my daughter in the hospital was to take care of everything at the house.  There is nothing worse than being sick and having three small boys at home and a husband who was doing everything he could to juggle everything.  She also has wonderful in-laws that were pitching in to make sure the boys were cared for in her absence.

Sometimes, you just need your mom.  She asked and I went.  Didn’t think twice.  Friday I cleaned house, she returned home and the boys were thrilled.  Now it was time to think about cooking.  A household of five needs food and even though the boys are 6, 4 and 3 they eat a lot!

First thing Friday morning we started with coffee, Grandma’s special coffee.

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Coffee is made with 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of sweetened ground chocolate, a bit of hot coffee to blend it and then filled with hot milk, usually two cups are necessary for a long day.  Following coffee, we cleaned house and then in the afternoon we prepared supper.  They decided that spaghetti and meatballs was on the menu.

Middle son Cai is gluten intolerant, so we we made gluten free meatballs and then cooked the gluten free pasta.  It was wonderful!  The younger two helped with the meatball mixture….but didn’t want to get their hands dirty!

On Saturday, we went to the Goshen Farmer’s Market.  We ate at Rachel’s Bread for breakfast.

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The market is marvelous.  i picked up lovely asparagus, lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes.  So beautiful, so tasty and ready to make wonderful food.  That evening, my middle grandson, Cai, cooked together.

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We took some of the lovely vegetables from the market and stir fried them and served them with brown rice.  Cai loved it!  With my help, he had his first lesson in using a knife to cut vegetables.  He is only 4, but did a great job with some assistance.  The most fun was firing up the stove and adding the vegetables one by one.

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I believe some of the best cooking is communal.  Sharing the tasks of preparation, cooking, and serving creates a space for love and grace.  We smelled the vegetables as we were chopping and then cooking them, smelled the combinations as they sizzled together.  When it was all done we added a sauce and watched it thicken.

Finally of course, one sits down a the table.  We said grace, then passed around the rice and stir fried vegetables.  The family ate, laughed and enjoyed each other.  I watched Cai dig into what he had created and ate and ate and ate.  The food was fresh, crisp, and tasted good.

I am reminded at moments like these that life is good.  I was grateful for the time to be able to take care of my daughter, her family and to create meals with my grandsons and to freeze some for the future.  Sharing that time, that food with family, was wonderful.  Cooking with my grandson, was priceless.    

 

Spring has returned

While it has been two months since I last posted, I have to admit spring has not been kind.  That day in March was beautiful and then we ended up with more snow, sleet and cold weather.  Last year’s spring came early and produce from the garden and the newly opened farmers markets was wonderful.

This year the produce has been slow going.  I had carrots and onions and garlic that wintered over and lettuce growing on my front porch.  This year, up until a week ago, I could pull some onions and some carrots, but the lettuce was still attempting to grow. The asparagus was giving a spear now and again. I am glad to say everything is growing and greening and producing.

Here is what comes out of the garden right now:

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With lettuce and a few radishes it truly is spring.

It’s all the rage to talk about local, seasonal and sustainable food sources.  I am the first to admit I LOVE the farmers markets.  I tend to visit http://www.oldtownfarmersmarket.com/ because it is two miles from my home, I can ride there on bicycle and I know the vendors.  It is a very personal experience.  

I like the markets because of the freshness of the produce I can buy.  My asparagus has been sparse, I picked some up in the grocery store and the ends were hard, woody and very dried out.  I bought some from the market, the ends were green and still damp.  That’s the difference in food in terms of local.

 I like growing things in my own garden.  The freshness that comes from just harvesting something and eating it within moments is beyond wonderful and tasty.  I really know where my food comes from when I harvest it from my own garden.  

I will be the first to admit that not everything I eat is local, seasonal or sustainable.  Not all of the meat in my freezer comes from a local rancher, some comes from the grocery store.  Some of the frozen vegetables come from the grocery store as do many of the staples in my pantry.  I do not have an issue occasionally buying produce out of season (at least for Kansas) if it’s country of origin is the US or a country that I trust.  There are things I am not willing to give up in order to be local for example: oranges, lemons, limes, fresh fish (since I would not eat ANYTHING that came out of the Arkansas River). I adore beautiful cheeses from Switzerland, Italy and France.  I could go on, but you get my point.

For me, the first part of being local is about relationship.  I do not have the time nor the inclination to grow and produce all my own food like Tasha Tudor  http://www.tashatudorandfamily.com/  or Barbara Kingsolver http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/  much as I admire them and find them fascinating.  

I believe that using my resources, including time, energy and finances in terms of food is important.  Choosing to shop local when I can is an ethical and relational choice.  Why I buy vegetables from the vendors in the Old Town Farmer’s market, I help people I know make a living.  When I buy food from the Seafood Shop http://www.theseafoodshop.net/ again, I help a local business and eat well.  When I buy bread from http://crustandcrumbcompany.com/ I get phenomenal crusty bread that uses wheat from local farmers.  

The rewards are that my family and I eat well and I get to be in relationship with people I trust, admire and support.  So I enjoy life and relationship, food, friends and family.  Through my garden, the markets, the local shops, I have a way of building community.  

I am deeply grateful that spring has finally “sprung.”  I am delighted the garden is growing and the market has reopened.  It offers me an opportunity to re-connect with old friends, have fresher produce and above to continue to enjoy life in its fullest.

 

A bit of Grace in the midst of March

Yesterday was one of those days.  The weather could not have been more perfect, 80 + degrees and no wind.  I, like many people, happened to be working.  I was determined to finish early and get outside.

I have always said, “it is sin against God not to ride your bike on a day with no wind in Kansas!”  The fact it was March 14, and no wind and beautiful in Kansas just motivated me.  I did the errands I had to do (with a trip to the Seafood Shop, will post more about that shortly) and got myself home.

Andrew already was pumping up the bike tires and had water bottles ready.

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So, off we went for a ride a little less than 9 miles.  It felt SO good.  Today, I am sore, but so glad to have been in the sun, riding down by the river, seeing many people out running, walking, and biking.  We stopped  by and saw our neighbors that it feels like we haven’t seen forever.

Upon returning home, it was time for dinner.  What a perfect evening.  March 14, 80+ degrees, no wind, in Kansas, we fired up the grill. Our neighbors Lee and Connie had pulled up carrots.  So I decided I would grill vegetables, salmon and have a tossed salad.  We would eat on the deck.

First, I had to clean some fresh carrots.

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Washed, I added brussels sprouts and purple potatoes

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I then peeled the carrots, quartered the potatoes and the brussels sprouts.  Put them in a bowl and added olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Now to prepare the salmon.  As I mentioned earlier, I ran by the Seafood Shop in order to have something tasty for dinner.  This time I chose the Steelhead Salmon.  It looked wonderful

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I started by drizzling olive oil, added salt and pepper.  I then went outside and cut some lemon thyme and to the front porch where I cut some Italian parsley.

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I pulled the lemon thyme off the stems and rough chopped the parsley and thyme together then sprinkled it over the salmon.  Lemon thyme is so fragrant. I squeezed some lemon juice and put lemon slices on top.

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I put the vegetables on the grill, about 400 degrees

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Then it was time to make the salad, before I put the salmon on.  The vegetables grilled about 6 minutes.

I went to the front porch.  I have been growing lettuce all winter.  I only have enough for salad every so often.  It was past time to cut the lettuce.

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After I cut the lettuce, I washed it, spun it dry, then tossed it with a basic balsamic vinaigrette. I placed it on the plates with sliced pear, Point Reyes blue cheese and some cranraisins for color.

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The salmon cooked about 10 minutes on the grill, the vegetables around 15 to 17 minutes.  Mostly they ended up okay, some were a little charred.  Will have to work on that.  We set the table and set out side on the back deck.

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This truly was a bit of grace in what has been a pretty cold, windy and dreary month.  The day helped me remember that spring is coming and as the days grow longer and warmer it is a time to be savored and enjoyed.  So often, I rush through my days, put whatever into my mouth in order to keep going.

On March 14, I slowed down enough to embrace this gift of grace and love.  Riding my bike, feeling the sun, getting home and savoring some beautiful fish, beautiful vegetables and salad that exploded with tart, sweet and crunch made me breathe deeply and say a prayer of thanks.

On a windless and warm March day, I once again embraced the beauty of creation, the love offered me by God and by my spouse.  At the table, I was reminded that grace abounds, that one can be fed body and soul and life is good.

Remembering my Nana

My grandmother was an old-time cook.  Meat, potatoes, a vegetable.  Bacon and eggs for breakfast.  I lived with her and my grandfather for five years.  The only time she didn’t cook was Sunday evening.  That was the evening for Lawrence Welk, popcorn and apples and the Wonderful World of Disney.

Sunday dinners tended to be wonderful, served on her china and ready to be served when we returned from Church.  Pot Roast, chicken, and casseroles.  On occasion my grandmother, my Nana made pan-fried chicken.  It’s tedious, takes a great deal of work and so we often did not have it.

To this day, I love pan-fried chicken.  Nana often made it in the summer for picnics when we would go to the park or the lake and it was accompanied by coleslaw and potato salad.  When we stayed home, it was made with mashed potatoes and cream gravy.  It wasn’t fancy, she didn’t do all the things you often read about, she dredged the chicken in seasoned flour and fried it.  To this day, I can not fry chicken and smell the searing meat without thinking of her.

So tonight, I pan-fried chicken.  I was supposed to have some folks over for dinner, at the last-minute no one could come.  I wasn’t devastated, it’s been a long day, but I had chicken and something needed to happen with the chicken.  Late afternoon I said to Andrew, “I’m hungry, I probably out to do something with that chicken.  How about I fry chicken?”   HIs eyes lit up, “Fried chicken????”  And then I said, “how about fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy?”   He was sold.

It is not gourmet.  It is simple, down home country cooking like my grandmother used to cook.  I fry chicken once, maybe twice a year.  Always pan-fried and ALWAYS with mashed potatoes and cream gravy.

The recipe is not difficult.  My Nana didn’t “double dip.”   She dredged the chicken in seasoned flour and popped it in hot oil or Crisco on the stove.  I put about one and a half cups of flour in a pie plate, added salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.  Mixed it together, salted and peppered the chicken pieces.  Dredged them in the flour mixture then sprinkled a good dose of paprika on the top and put them in the hot oil

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I fried the top, the bottom and then the sides. It takes time and then I cover the chicken for a time to make sure it is cooked through. Forty five minutes to an hour should cook chicken to the place it needs to be done.

I take it out of the oil and drain it on paper towels.

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The potatoes were already cooking. I had opened a can of green beans I had canned last year. As the chicken was draining, I poured off most of the grease, leaving the good brown bits in the pan and added the flour I had used to dredge the chicken. I did that knowing it would be heated to a high enough temperature to deal with the raw chicken issues.

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This needs to be “cooked” for two or three minutes to get the raw flour flavor out of it and then you can add milk. This is the only time I make cream gravy. I always do a butter/flour roux and then add stock. But the cream gravy takes me back to my childhood and my grandmother and somehow makes the fried chicken taste the way it is supposed to taste.

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We mashed the potatoes, and we were ready to eat. My Nana wasn’t the kind of country cook many speak about. She embraced convenience foods early and with gusto. However, on occasion she went back to the farm and made meals I still remember. Fried Chicken is one of those meals that remind me of home, of love, of family and of a woman who took in four kids and a mom at seventy years of age and made of the best of it. She and my grandfather in so many ways are my saints and I am grateful for all their love and faith that believed in me and my siblings.

This is what dinner looked like tonight. I think Nana would have been proud.

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Fresh Fish

I love fish.  I do not know how that happened living in Kansas.  It is not like there are very many likely sources for wonderful fresh fish.  The Arkansas River is polluted and there are usually yearly warnings about not eating anything you catch in the river.  

There are stocked ponds with walleye and bass and catfish.  I can remember eating fried catfish with my grandmother, caught just a little while before out of a farm pond, until I almost burst!  I have an even earlier memory of fried smelt in Minnesota, but most other early memories revolve around canned tuna and salmon.  You remember:

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It could have been Bumble Bee or Starkist, but this was what we ate more times than not, if you don’t include fish sticks.  Salmon patties, or tuna noodle casserole, tuna salad for sandwiches or tuna pasta salad were staples.  I still enjoy eating them.

I have no idea where my love of fish came from.  In the middle of “beef” country, I could easily eat fish three or more times a week if I could afford it and had the time to prepare it.  A few years ago, a fresh fish market opened in Wichita.  One can buy fish at the local grocery store.  Some have quite large “fish” markets, but most of the fish is “previously frozen.”  They are finally not stocking as much farmed salmon, but it takes some dedication to find out whether or not it is farmed or where the fish comes from.

The Seafood Shop opened in 2008 and I was in their door the second day they were open.  When I host a special dinner they will special order fish for me.  Their case is filled with fish flown in fresh.  The exception would be the shrimp, although occasionally fresh shrimp is in the case.  You can ask and find out how sustainable, country of origin, whether or not it is factory farmed (not ever in my experience) and “smell” any of the fish to check for freshness.  They have several types of fresh oysters, usually P.E.I. mussels, plus some entrees they have prepared to take home and cook.

Truthfully, the cost per pound is higher, but in my experience the flavor in unmatched.  My schedule doesn’t permit me to cook more than two or three times a week, so cooking good fresh fish once a week is worth every penny.  Since the serving size for my husband and I tend to be 4-5 ounces, I can enjoy wonderful fish without much guilt.

Each time I go in with an open mind, then decide what is for dinner by what is in the case. I can make roast some Irish salmon with braised brussels sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes, purple potatoes and onions.

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Or in the summer I can grill some Coho Salmon and serve it over a large green salad.

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Or  grill some Ahi Tuna, shrimp, red pepper and red onion and serve over Asian Green beans.

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I particularly love the summer months when I can go to the Farmer’s Market or my garden and find fresh vegetables to go with the fresh fish.  The colors, the scent, the taste makes each meal seem like a feast.

I have become more committed to finding the freshest ingredients.  Supporting a business like the Seafood Shop helps small and local businesses, plus the added benefit of getting exactly what I want.  I wish I lived in a place that had a Farmer’s Market open all year, but when our Markets are open, I shop there as much as possible.  My shopping becomes as much about the relationships I form with the business owners as about the food.

Living intentionally, shopping intentionally, cooking intentionally and eating intentionally is a deeply spiritual and religious exercise.  For me it means paying attention: mind, body and spirit.  Cooking and feeding myself, my spouse and others connects me to them.  The relationship I share with business owners connects me to to them.  Paying attention to the money I spend, the places I spend it and on what I spend it speaks to the values I wish to hold and long to live out.

 

 

 

Grown-Up Comfort Food

My husband Andrew is not feeling well.  He had an awful cold a few weeks ago, recovered with a bit of a lingering cough and then …. guess what?  The nastiness has returned.  He has a horrible, nasty cough and just doesn’t feel well.

I want to cook.  It is what I do when I have an evening off, but what to cook when he doesn’t feel well?  He has never been a big macaroni and cheese fan, but when you substitute beautiful cheeses and add lobster, he is in for the taste test.

Late February is not a bad time to buy lobster, especially since Valentine’s day has passed and grocery stores don’t want them filling up their frozen seafood sections.  I am not saying it is “cheap”, just a bit more affordable than during other times.  Next time I make this, I think I will make a “seafood” mac and cheese and add shrimp and maybe some crab as well.  It was wonderful as it was, but it wasn’t “filled” with lobster, even I don’t have that kind of budget.

I bought two 4 ounce frozen lobster tails.  I thawed them and wrapped them in foil and baked them in the oven at 375 degrees (350 in the convection oven) for about 15 minutes.

They came out looking like this:

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Rough chop and save to add to the mixture later.

Get a pot of water boiling, I was making enough for two and since my ramkins are small, I had enough for four.  I set aside 4 ounces of cavatappi pasta, you could use elbow or penne.

ImageI added it to about a quart of boiling salted water

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I then grated 3 ounces of Gruyere cheese and 2 ounces of sharp white cheddar in my food processor.  Fast and easy:

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I set that aside and began the white sauce that would serve as the base.

First I chopped about 2 tablespoons of red onion in a small dice.  I would have used a shallot if I had one.  I didn’t, so I used red onion instead.  I also diced one garlic clove.

ImageI added that to a skillet with two tablespoons unsalted butter.

ImageI sauteed them at a very low heat until soft.

ImageI then added white wine, about 1/4 cup and cooked it down.  Then I added two tablespoons flour.

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It is important to get the “raw” flour taste out by cooking the flour/butter mixture until bubbly.  Once this is done I added 1 cup warmed milk.

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And whisked until not lumpy.  You may need to add more depending on how much milk the flour/butter mixture takes.  I ended up adding about 1/4 cup more.  Once the milk is incorporated I added the gruyere and cheddar cheeses.

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Once the cheese is melted, then the pasta and lobster is added, salt and pepper to taste.

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Finally I added freshly ground nutmeg.  I know that sounds odd, but it really does make the mac and cheese lovely.

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When I make it again, I will add hot smoked spanish paprika.  A little kick would have been lovely.  You could use cayenne or chipotle, but hot smoked spanish paprika has been my go to spice for a little kick for some time.  I don’t like a lot of heat, but this really is lovely.

I made some fresh bread crumbs.  I took off the crusts of some whole wheat sour dough I had, cut it in chunks and popped it in the food processor.  You can use any bread you want, you just don’t want to use already “baked” bread crumbs.  They will cook and crisp in the oven.  I added one quarter of a cup to 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter

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Stirred it up.  I used it to top the mac and cheese.

I then filled four individual ramekins:

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ImageTopped them with the bread crumbs

ImagePut them in a 375 oven (350 for convection) for 30 minutes.

ImageWhile they were baking, I put some home canned green beans on the stove, made a red wine vinaigrette ( 2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt pepper) poured it over fresh green lettuce, red tomatoes and topped with Point Reyes blue cheese.

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I pulled the lobster mac and cheese out of the oven

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I served this with a lovely “sushi wine”.  It was the perfect combination of crisp and clean with the thick and creamy and decadent Lobster mac and cheese.

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The meal was wonderful.  I grew up with Velveeta Macaroni and cheese.  I still love it.  I am not ashamed to admit it.  This is a grown up version.  The lobster was so sweet and the cheese combination was amazing.  Next time I will probably add some shrimp with it to extend the lobster a bit.  I canned the green beans this summer and the lettuce I have been growing on my front porch.

I find great joy in growing, preserving and cooking my own food.  The sense of balance I receive makes all the time and effort worth it.  When I open a “can” I can smell the summer and remember the picking, the snapping and the heat of pressure cooker.  When I wander to the front porch and cut lettuce leaves with 13+ inches of snow on the ground I am amazed at how happy all that green makes me.  I don’t always have enough for a salad, but when I do, it is fresh and fabulous.

My husband loved the macaroni and cheese.  He ate every bit and since I had planned on two servings, but ended up with four, we have planned leftovers for tomorrow or Sunday.  Another salad, maybe some roasted vegetables and dinner will be served again.

We eat to live, but also eating is a foretaste of a “banquet” where all will be loved, accepted, fed and satisfied.  Each time I cook and can offer comfort and compassion I feel like I have been part of a sacred moment. In the gospels Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered,” and “eat and drink in remembrance of me.”  In the midst of the season of Lent, I am grateful to remember and to give thanks.

Snow Ice Cream

When my children were small, they longed for snow days.  When the snow came, they always wanted to make snow ice cream.  Now conditions in Kansas were not always the right kind of conditions for making snow ice cream.  There needs to be a LOT of snow and the fluffy kind.  Every two or three years, the conditions would be perfect for snow ice cream.  Conditions that look like this:

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Piles and heaps of nice snow, deep enough you don’t have to worry about dirt or anything. At this point pristine, at least as pristine snow can be in 2013.
Back to the children, we would get a big bowl and set it outside so the snow could “fall” into it. Usually we were too impatient, so we also lightly scrapped “top” snow up into the bowl. You need about 8 to 12 cups.
Some of you might remember these cookbooks, I have had them since 1979, a gift. They held recipes and helpful hits from bygone times….

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Volume 2 has the snow ice cream recipe as you can see from the hand written note on the front. Here is the recipe:

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Hoping I have not broken any copyright laws, this is a terrible recipe! I never used eggs and it has way too much sugar. Instead we used about 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and probably 1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk. Truly it was a “process”. The ice cream, however was wonderful. After playing outside (and some of us shoveling snow) it was such a treat with a cup of hot chocolate and made all the sweeter because it just couldn’t be made very often. The snow that has fallen across Kansas created that kind of snow over the last two days. There have been several folks that have posted snow ice cream recipes including one that used 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a can of sweetened condensed milk. Regardless of the recipe, snow ice cream is truly a fun food item that is just not available very often, at least in Kansas. Some of my favorite memories revolve around food. Making cookies with my children, or with my grandchildren, holiday meals, special moments highlighted by something that tastes fantastic or tastes like home. Snow ice cream is one of those foods for me, as well as one of the memories I hold close. Getting cold and wet, making snowmen and snow angels, throwing snow balls and then coming in and having the ice cream. The milky sweetness of the snow ice cream is the taste of innocence, joy and childhood. It comes with the sound of long ago laughter. As I watch the snow fly again, in what appears to be one of the five biggest storms Wichita’s recorded history, I am grateful for those memories, those tastes, those sounds and the remembered joy. One taste not only takes me back, but makes me smile in this moment and grateful for the time this snow storm has slowed down my life for a few hours. I can taste the sweetness of grace and see the goodness of God in the midst of snow.

Centering and Cooking

I often find my center in cooking.  The french word “chez” means “at the home of” or “with or among.”  “Chez Cindy” is what I often use when I have a gourmet meal in my home and I title the menu that way.

For me, cooking means being at home or with friends or family.   I love how when I step into the kitchen, I feel the chaos of my life fall away and a calm and centeredness fill me.  Chopping, mixing, sautéing, grilling, baking all help me focus on what is in front of me and not get lost in all the craziness of my life.

Often my “job” my “ministry” does not result in results that are easily measured.  Cooking, however, immediately connects me with the food I prepare and with the people who eat it.  If I have paid attention, what I create provides satisfaction for both body and soul

My hope for this space is to connect body and soul, spirit and mind.  I have come to believe that food feeds me spiritually, physically and mentally.  I am not a chef, but I am one who truly enjoys the interplay of food, faith and fun.  I hope and pray that this space will invite you to do the same.