Recently I got to thinking about why I put so many food and cooking posts on my blog. I don't consider this a "food blog" and I'm not an especially good cook. On the other hand, I am fascinated by domestic life in general and cooking from scratch and family dinners in particular.
Then it occurred to me that making these meals and setting up these little table scenes is one opportunity for creativity in my day that I am sure to make time for. Each meal cooked and served is a lot of work, frequently with frustrating moments in the midst of it, but also fills me with a sense of accomplishment and a wonderful feeling of having nurtured the family and created something beautiful. That is all so important to me.
Sometimes I like to read through the comments over at Soulemama and one of my favorite things is when people ask her "what is in that pot?" whenever she posts a table shot. Back on this post somebody asked her that very question and she kindly replied that it was the vegetarian chili from Once Upon a Tart. That happens to be one of my all time favorite cookbooks so of course I was inspired to try the recipe. It turned out to be a wonderful, rustic and summery chili with beans soaked and cooked from scratch and with fresh summer squash and zucchini and fresh corn from the cob. On the down side I started it late in the day (aside from having already soaked the beans) and it took forever to get to the table. It was nearly 8 o'clock before we ate that night! Oh well--it was close to the Solstice and still quite light. Another thought I had: I think I need a Le Creuset pot in the next size up! This recipe makes such a huge batch that I ended up having to scoop some into a separate saucepan! (Do you see how I rationalize such purchases? Never mind, though, because I'm on a 2-year spending freeze . . . otherwise I would be tempted!)
The recipe suggests topping this with sour cream, cheese and onions, which was delicious.
Here is the cookbook that I am talking about. I've also blogged about it here.
And an inside shot to show how delicious this book is.
By the way, I have a little bookshop! It's been there for months but I never mentioned it to you. I just wanted to have a spot to show you all my very favorite books. I only have added books that I love and return to over and over again and that have lots of "heart" and good writing. It's not a money making endeavor for me at all, but just to let you know, if people bought enough books through my shop Amazon would eventually cut me a $10 certificate.
And thanks so much for all your help with the mystery of the comments not showing up! You guys are awesome. It was good to hear that it is a Blogger-wide problem and not something I had done wrong with the blog. And it looks like they're working again.