Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Lazy Cook

After reading Nina Planck admit to being a lazy cook, I felt that I could nobly admit to having the same affliction. I have figured out that although I love to cook, shop and above all EAT, I don't especially enjoy all of the other work involved, namely extensive mise-en-place and clean-up. Ideally I would be the executive chef in my own home. Instead, I am the entire kitchen staff, which can sometimes be quite exhausting, especially during parties or when other duties call.

Odd thing is, I only recently came to this realization. Until now, I couldn't quite pinpoint why I itch to throw parties and cook outrageous amounts of food, yet become decidedly crabby when the events are actually taking place.

The truth is I want to shop for fabulous ingredients. I want to come up with an enticing menu. And this is where my plans go awry:...I would then like someone to do the mise-en-place MY WAY and then I want the glory of producing the exciting dishes. I would then like to sit down and enjoy the food with my guests and when all is said and one I want a fairy to wave his magic wand and clean up the entire mess.

The closest I can get to my dream scenario is to have friends help with mise-en-place and hire someone to clean up (which I have done on occasion and it has been swell). Meanwhile, I ordinary days, I think that the key to making cooking more relaxing is to be more organized which is something I just need to keep working at.

This was on my mind this evening because Summer is the absolute worst time of year for the lazy cook, and even more so for one with no air conditioning in her home. Each day I try to come up with reasons to either A. Go out for dinner or B. Just make something for Izzy and graze after he has gone to bed. Mind you, I rarely do either of these things but certainly not for lack of musing over them.
This afternoon I had convinced myself that we would be going out for dinner but when I came home from the park with Izzy and peered out into our newly tidied backyard (thanks to Izzy and his papa), I thought we may as well enjoy the cool air and view.
So I whipped up a Pasta with Zucchini, Squash and Artichokes along with a salad of Chickpeas, Cucumbers and Tomatoes (thanks to Farmer Rich). Thankfully, both dishes involved minimal prep and not too much clean-up, perfect for the lazy cook.

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