August 5, 2020
I have always enjoyed cooking. I have mentioned how I rarely use a recipe but still seem to be able to put together a dish and even complete meals. Since Melissa has been driving to Northwest Arkansas, I have taken the responsibility to have dinner ready or at least prepped, by the time she gets home. This allows us time to relax, have our now nightly “conversation,” and eat before the Royals come on. While I enjoy cooking and even see this as my daily gift to her, I sometimes struggle to come up with something different to make.
If left to my own devices, I usually fall back on rice or pasta. That has been harder now as we have been counting calories as both dishes are circumspect carbs. I try to mix in different types of salads as a side dish. Even I have realized people do not live on carbs alone. I occasionally have the salad as an entree, but struggle with this. Every time I focus on the salad, I end up hungry just in time for bed, not a good combination. The other thing I try is to serve fish or a vegetable-based dish. Melissa is not big on fish, but I have been slowly weaning her over.
The one fish Melissa does like (aside from fried catfish, she IS southern), is salmon. She will not make it herself, but she likes the various ways I fix it. Tonight, I baked the salmon and prepared a peach and avocado chutney to go along with it. We had a small side salad (we ran out of lettuce). We also received some Anaheim Peppers from our gardener friend which I stuffed with shrimp, cheeses, and just the right amount of crushed red pepper. It all turned out great. More important, it was something different.
THOUGHTS: I remember mom telling me about how she would sit in the women’s circle and listen to the proud mothers tell about their seven or eight-year-old daughters helping in the kitchen. She never had the heart to tell them her four-year-old son had been making his own breakfast for the last year. I even had my own cookbook, handed down from my sister (I used it then). Trying new ways of cooking and different types of food has been with me ever since. We are in a time when we are trying new ways and different approaches. We have been shown the old ways no longer work. I am sure for many, they never did. Change is coming and it starts with you.