Okay, let’s try that again….
Yesterday’s post, I fear, was under the influence of some heavy fatigue. I’d had a huge list of things I wanted to do yesterday, but only got as far as “go shop at the fancy cooking store you got a gift certificate to” and bringing my stuff home before I started getting sleepy – at four in the afternoon. I pushed myself to stay awake and complete just one more task before going to bed at only about 9. My head is a lot clearer today, thank goodness, and it’s a rainy, yicky day perfect for doing the puttering around I was going to do yesterday.
And part of that puttering is indeed going to involve cooking. I came home from Paris with a renewed interest in cooking, spurred by the most perfect carrot soup I’ve ever had and an introduction to really good creme brulee. I even made some creme brulee from scratch my second night back and got all excited when it actually worked.
But this is coinciding nicely with my annual impulse to Rededicate Myself To Brown-Bagging And Healthy Eating that comes after the holidays each year. The indulgence of holiday food – all the cream, the butter, the sweets – peters out, and gives way to craving vegetables and simple stuff – lots of salads and clear broths, simple soups. This year there’s a second reason to commit, and that reason is the number that was on the scale that I stepped onto by accident in that cooking shop (there’s a panel in the floor, I think it was some kind of industrial place first). And that’ll also go along way towards the never-ending quest to Actually Use Some Of The Stuff In My Pantry.
But simple and veggie-heavy does not mean it won’t be good.
One of the things I picked up at the cooking store was a bag of beef bones from their in-house butcher, which is right now on its way to becoming a big pot of beef stock. There’s already a couple jugs of vegetable stock in the fridge from last night, and I’m prowling all my cookbooks for their salad recipes – there’s one that’s nothing more than arugula, a couple slices of fried pancetta, and dressing. And then there’s this standby of mine, in which every recipe seems to have the unwritten rule to “start with the broth, then cram as many vegetables into it as you can”. A bowl of any of those soups, a salad, and some bread and cheese or sausage to round things out and I’m more than satisfied.