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Monday, February 2, 2009

Edible Compilations

Art or Artist?

Food is nourishment and entertainment. And art. In summation, food can be so yummy and there are times (too many) that I can't get enough of it. As with eating, I won't stop with that sentence when writing and thinking about it. Moderation has no place in my hedonistic world; I've always had this ability (talent? problem?) to pack it away, having a bottom-less pit of a stomach with the sense of "being satisfied" limited to seeing the plate-bag-box empty. Sometimes a little bit is enough, but I tend to take in more volume than what is necessary. Since there has never been an aim to be skinny like most of my family, or follow any sort of societal approval system, this food preoccupation hasn't been too much of an issue so far, for me. I may eat a lot, but I eat well (and sometimes not so well, especially if there are cookies around.MmMmMmmmmm). My health is good and I enjoy physical activity; and the gym is actually fun for me- when I go.

Happy to have a very open minded palate, it is fun to try new entrees. Going out to eat is a rare thing as much as I would like to be able to do so. Since going out on my own business-wise, money is tight, and so most masticating takes place at home where I can use my creativity to stretch ingredients and meals. That is, when I'm not eating in bachelorette style, ie; poking through a relatively empty fridge in search of quick and cheap sustenance, where a sniff test on a questionable container of milk usually leads to eating bowls of cereal for days on end with an occasional bowl of condensed soup to switch things up. I love when my friends feed me. I feign emaciation, but they don't buy it. However, I am usually granted access to cupboards and leftovers.

Then there are the days of the week when my boyfriend and I are together. It is during this time that I feel an increase in adventure and desire to consume something less stale cereal-like and more in the interesting, tasty, wholesome and/or fresh food continuum. Sometimes he initiates pulling something together, sometimes we work on a meal creation together, but regularly I am buying ingredients, eager to embark on a "creative-pseudo science-anti recipe- palate pleasing (hopefully) endeavor of the nourishing concoction variety" at least that is what I call it. Some people call it cooking, go figure.

In recent weeks, the kitchen has been filled with scents from meals I made such as that of a nice green curry chicken with jasmine rice, veggi-ground turkey chili, various soups, lasagna, hummus, and a plethora of things that I couldn't begin to describe, yet somehow the end result was really good. Some plating replete with a complicated mixture of spices and other ingredients while other meals created with the most simple (and cheap) cupboard findings. I am too rebellious to follow a recipe but I have a knack for tastily throwing things together. My boyfriend is amused and appreciative of this. He knows that whatever I make, it will be an original, "Carey creation", even if it was made before, it is never made quite the same again.

Like my art, and most anything else that I do, when I involve myself in something, I get really into it. An art teacher once described me as a 'physical' painter. I have to say the same would apply to my cooking pursuits. My whole body is involved. I exaggerate my movements, dance a little, sing, whistle and produce other vocalizations. Various ingredients, pots, containers and utensils are strewn all around the kitchen. Food pieces on the floor, in my hair, on the walls, even smooshed into my cats fur and between their fuzzy toes. The process is messy but satisfying. I rarely approach cooking or baking with any level of organization. I look at the cook pot/pan as an empty canvas and create from there. An original masterpiece (piece of pizza, chicken, casserole..ha)!

As much as my bf enjoys my masterpieces, there was one time that he alluded to not loving what I made as much as I did. I often make pancakes. This is actually something that I will make for myself when cereal and soup just won't do. It is cheap, easy, quick and super satisfying. I often like to add blueberries, peaches or any other fruit (fresh, frozen or even canned) that I have on hand. As usual, I don't follow directions or pay much attention to keeping the batter consistent from batch to batch. After making pancakes for us a couple of times, my boyfriend claimed that they were more like a plate of bricks than pancakes. Not complaining, just observing their heavy, chewy, possibly multi-purpose nature. Further, he described the shape as being amoeba like. All of this amused me more than offended me. I liked the idea of calling them "amoeba-cakes", as I love to come up with new terms, labels, definitions for everything (look for the official "Carey to English Dictionary" coming soon!)(or not.). The term also appealed to my nerdy side. Well, with this new found amusement and more than a hint of snark, I proceeded to ask if he would prefer the more traditional socially acceptable pancake, further referred to from this point forward as, "The Conformist-Cake". So then with snark in full effect, I proceeded to follow (almost) the directions to make the batter, then spooned out perfect (almost) drops of batter onto the grill then counted out the same number of blueberries to be allocated to each "conformist-cake" in the same (almost) layout. I took extra care in watching them cook, making sure that each were perfect (almost) golden buttery brown and fluffy before plating them with a side of warmed syrup, perfectly (almost) cooked turkey bacon and juice. As much as I could, I integrated the term, "conformist-cake" and other snark based comments, before, during and after making them. Sure they were made with love, but topped with a heavy dollop* of snark.

They were the best little circles I ever made.

Damn it.

So now, much to my chagrin, (ok, not that much) I make conformist-cakes. The extra few minutes of care really make for visually, texturally and tasty meal.

The last ones I made were this past weekend. "Oh, you're making conformist-cakes? yum!" yes, hun. "I'm sure they will be delicious" yes. yes, they will..

Half of the batch were made plain/regular style while the other half of the batter was left to my diabolical modifications. Or that I made into an apple flavor. Unplanned, as I stood waiting for the perfect little fluffy circles to cook, I spied a jar of apple sauce in the fridge and proceeded to wonder what would happen if I added some to the batter. Oh and how about that cinnamon in the cupboard. I could add just a little bit of that...

Happy Monday, everyone!

*(btw, I hate the word dollop) Any words that you hate? or absolutely love?


CaJoh said...

I love your creativity in your recipe names. Reminds me of Austrian Tuna which has Vienna Bread and Canned Tuna in it.

PreciseDisarray said...

Austrian Tuna, nice!

Thanks! Incorporating silly fun whenever possible keeps the smiles coming, at least for me.

Rick Rosenshein said...

Hi PD,
Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope that you will return often. Thanks again and keep up the great work on your blog. Rick

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

You are too funny! I can't believe your name for your pancakes! And by the way, I hate the word dollop too! That comerical, a dollop of daisy! DRIVES ME INSANE! Who made that word up anyway?
Thanks for following me...I'm now a follower...and your about me on your profile page...cracked me up!

PreciseDisarray said...

Thanks Rick and CJ!

also, that Daisy commercial has pushed me over the edge. It is worse than nails on a chalkboard when I hear that commercial. Glad to know that I am not the only one! :)

Himani Kaushal said...

I like you artistic nature and must appreciate your writing skills. Thanks for stoping my blog and keep visiting :) .Take care.