Too busy cooking to post

Hi, remember me? I’ve been rilly busy in the kitchen lately and haven’t been taking time out to write about it.

I’m having a surgical procedure in a couple of weeks, and I’m cooking like a maniac to get it out of my system since I’ll be too tired and weak to cook for at least a few weeks afterwards.  Is it possible to “save up” cooking? Cooking is like a bodily function for me. It doesn’t bode well that you can’t really save up eating, bathing or sleeping. You can catch up if you’re behind, but you can’t save up in advance. I wonder what I’ll be itching to make when I return to the kitchen?

I’m getting a little sick of the usuals–roasted chicken or chicken parts, stir-frys, the occasional steak or piece of salmon…so I’ve stretched a little. I picked up some beautiful clams at Costco recently and turned them into a New England clam chowdah, complete with salt pork. There was the garlic-rubbed leg of lamb I grilled last week, with good stone-milled grits from the water-powered mill down the road from my folks in North Carolina. (Lamb and grits? Why not? I didn’t have any pita around…) There was the fat organic capon I brined and roasted; the leftovers made some matzo ball soup and a fabulous capon pot pie. I taught a private class last weekend that featured a crisp pizza with goat cheese and spinach and some boeuf bourguignon (oh man is that stuff awesome). I did a wedding tasting recently that included some mushroom vol-au-vents and some really cute leaf-shaped tea sandwiches (handmade cream cheese, spinach and pickled red onion on thin wheat bread, anyone?). Then there was the semi-successful bagel-making experiment. I don’t make breads often enough to develop serious skills, nor do I possess the tools to do a really fantastic job (those sexy razors for slashing loaves, baskets for raising dough, a baking tile large enough to hold a baguette). It’s still fun to try it out every so often.

If you were about to be unable to cook for a few weeks, what would you try to get done before you had to take a break?

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