My relationship with food has been a bit of a roller coaster over the past few years. Now, that statement seems loaded. Do I have an eating disorder, or do I fight with my weight? No, and no. As far as eating goes, my relationship with food is pretty steady: I eat when I'm hungry, and I mostly eat what I like.
No, the relationship to which I refer is more about the kitchen. See, sometimes I get really passionate about cooking and meal planning and grocery shopping. Heck, here I am, posting in a food blog.
But sometimes I really can't be bothered to spend more than a couple of minutes thinking about feeding my family.
I'm in one of the valleys these days.
It's probably because of my job.
If you didn't already know, I work in a hospital, in the food service department. It's not really a glamorous department, but my job is very visible and, to be quite honest, awesome. It's probably also of value to mention that my current position was a promotion from another, desk-bound, position in the same department. And my current apathy toward all things culinary pretty much began the day of my promotion.
My job allows me to engage in chef-like behavior (somewhat) and get a lot of ego strokes in the process. My prior position was primarily administrative and involved very few ego strokes and even fewer forays into the kitchen.
But my family is paying a bit of a price here. They used to get creative, well-balanced, well-cooked meals, courtesy of me, nearly every night. Trips to restaurants were special and also well-considered. These days, however, I've mostly delegated the cooking (and the shopping, and most of the planning) to my husband (who does a great job, by the way).
I'm hoping that this process, this daily blogging about food for the month, will help rekindle the passion. I can't remember the last time I tried a new recipe (except for cocktail recipes, which I tried just last week, with excellent results).
At least I'm well-positioned to succeed. Our vegetable garden is thriving in the Memphis summer. With the backyard-fresh vegetables, I've got plenty of inspiration, or at least good ingredients.
So here's the plan: I'll try something new in the kitchen every day this month. I've already started gathering recipes for pickles and jams and such. And I'll document the results. I can't promise passionate cuisine, but I can promise a dedication to fresh, wholesome food that (hopefully) families would like to eat.
Tomorrow: pickles, part 1.