It’s been a bit quiet around here lately.
So where have I been?
Well, I’ve spent the last ten years in the kitchen.
This is going to sound terribly old fashioned, but when I got married I became a house husband. Yes, that’s right; my wife went out to work full-time while I stayed home and made dinner.
OK, it wasn’t quite as simple as that…
I was a new immigrant in America, and couldn’t yet work. Then I became a student, and a little bit later on we had two children. She’s worked full-time, while I have juggled part-time work and staying home with the kids.
But my point is, I’ve spent most of my married life in the kitchen.
In the beginning, I spent my days in our American kitchen teaching myself how to make cookies; the classic chocolate chip, with and without cocoa powder. Then I had a phase of trying to perfect fruit cake, followed by pecan pie, which was an obsession for months. I can’t even look at one now.
This was followed by key lime pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, and apple pie. I made key lime pie so often that it became my signature dish. For the record, mine has ginger snaps for the base, and absolutely no cream on top. It is perfect.
It hasn’t all been sweet treats, though. I taught myself how to roast a chicken, and to make the best roast potatoes. I roasted brussel sprouts with cauliflower and bacon, I roasted butternut squash, chunks of pumpkin, carrots and parsnips with honey, and all manner of other root vegetables, during the hard and cold Wisconsin winters.
Oh, and did I mention we had two children? I set out on a mission to make all our children’s baby foods from scratch.
I made my own purees; chopping and cooking and blending and freezing endless batches of apple, carrot, sweet potato, parsnip, mango, chicken curry, salmon chowder, and a blend of beetroot and pomegranate. That last one was particularly messy, but it was a firm favourite.
I’ve also dabbled in vegan cheesecake, black bean chocolate cake, sweet potato brownies, blackberry crumble cake and other culinary experiments.
Not everything has turned out well, of course. A recent attempt at lemon chicken in the slow cooker was vile. Lentil soup was not a big hit. Providing family meals that everyone likes seems to get harder and harder.
Right then. Back to the kitchen I go.
See you in another ten years, by which time I may have perfected a soufflé…