When you decide to get fries and waffles from your favorite Belgian food stand for dinner. You have a ragu waiting in the morning. Reduced for hours, the sauce was a mixture of tomatoes, red wine sausage from our meat homies up in Cotacachi, onions, garlic and bit of guanciale. Spices measured more from the heart than the head. And ketchup, because we were out of tomato paste. It was sweeter than normal, but the extra fatty bits of cured pork jowl rounded out the flavor nicely.
I love to cook.
And I get to do it in my own way everyday. No longer feeling like a chore to get something healthy and homemade on the table. I have the time to do it how I want. From scratch. Using whole ingredients, sourced from farms I have personally visited and can trust are organic and humane.
This morning, I decided to flesh out the sauce with two leftover soups that we had been munching on throughout the week.
The first was a pea soup. Boiled with a ham hock, onions and a mix of deep flavors including curry and turmeric. I wait until the peas are so soft they’re about to burst and remove the bone, cutting off the bits of meat (and let’s face it, a little bit of that fat). Served with a scoop of quinoa that soaks up all the smokey goodness, it’s a favorite in our household. Always a little bit different, but delicious all the same.
The second was a buttery corn soup that had stewed in a crock pot until the kernels melted in your mouth. Carrots and potatoes with a hit of lemon juice, fresh parsley and spinach to cut through the rich broth.
Mixing all three together.
Because, why not?
It was awesome. I topped off the steaming pot of goodness with a sprig of rosemary and more salt. Threw in a bit more water to loosen it up. And served it up with my favorite brand of fettuccine.
Tempted to do a runny egg on top. But already hungry and salivating. I decided to call it a morning.
And that’s what I love about cooking.
The creativity. The mixing and the matching. And the high-five I get from my husband, mouth full with a look that says, good shit. But mostly, the zen of it all. The way I can escape into a world of chopping and slicing without a single real thought crossing my mind. Some good music in the background. The garbled sounds of my son playing pretend with his dinosaurs. Occasionally running into the room to show me a photo of Pinocchio he just drew. Or to inquire when I’ll be done so we can play outside.
The perfect start to a lazy Saturday with nothing on the agenda but our monthly meat pickup and a playdate at the park. More good eats. And ice cream. Definitely, ice cream.