Okay, so I never do a two-a-day post, but I had a revelation as I was folding laundry and I needed to share it with you all...
Last Thursday, Danny and I went to Pecha Kucha. If you've never been/heard of it, check this out. It's a great opportunity to interact with all kinds of people and learn about all sorts of things you may never have considered. At last week's PK, one of the presenters was Bear Braumoeller from Slow Food Columbus. His presentation basically said that food quality has been getting progressively worse over the years in America and that in order for us, as a society, to change that, we need to slow our food down and really enjoy it. We can teach ourselves to appreciate a variety of foods that taste good and are good for us, so that we will no longer be satisfied with the subpar swill that fast food restaurants and big chain grocery stores shove into us.
Today, I had an eggplant and a tomato from my garden and I had NO IDEA what to do with them. So I diced up the eggplant and pan fried it, diced up some onion, garlic and my tomato and sauteed them all together into a sauce. Add some angel hair pasta and voila! A perfectly seasoned, light meal with all sorts of interesting smells and textures, like crunch from the eggplant, a little bite from the pasta and liquid silkiness from the tomato sauce. And as I took my first bite, I said to Danny "Everything about this is right..." He just shrugged and went back to eating his canned soup and bread (I offered to share, but he doesn't like eggplant. His loss...). I don't think it fazed him, because when I cook at home, I often say something along the same lines.
Now this is not to say that I'm a perfect cook by any means. But I realized something tonight. When you take the time to make something that you want, that you like, prepared to your specifications, seasoned to your tastes, it just makes a better eating experience. The whole process, from dicing the eggplant, to getting my hands dirty with the flour and egg wash and breadcrumbs, to the pop and sizzle of the oil in the pan, to the smell of caramelizing onions and garlic and finally, to that first, luscious bite. In that moment, everything about my meal was right.
So thank you, Bear Braumoeller for putting the seed of an idea in my mind to slow down and enjoy my food. And I'm so excited that today, the idea finally blossomed into one perfect meal.