My friend Mary and I sit and talk about vegetables and crops of apples and the differences in flavors and bite the way the wine friends talk about wine varietals. Now, her job, her J-O-B, the thing she's paid to do each week, is think about and learn about what's happening in food and specifically, in the biggest Farmer's Market on the left coast. But we talk about it all (and have for years) because we just enjoy it. It's more than what we're throwing together to feed a clan. There's the joy in it that gave Mrs. Rombauer the idea for the title of the book, we can depend on, JOY OF COOKING. (It's historical. I laugh when I see the book's spine through the glass door of kitchen book space - thinking of how in Julie & Julia, Julia Child called her, "Mrs. Joy.")
I also spend time with Marjorie talking about food ideas and on Christmas day as we were eating the Tater Tot casserole Janet brought to the breakfast gathering, we were secretly trying to sleuth out the ingredients. (The recipe has been long illusive to us, though we've asked. It is a favorite at the gathering and, I thought I understood why you might keep it close.) Not long after we finished quietly throwing ideas around, "cream cheese and sour cream, nutmeg?" she came and apologized for forgetting to share it with me. She really forgot I wanted it. (I think she took pity on me, thankfully. My two kids would eat the whole pan, given the option.) And it turns out it's an Emeril Lagasse recipe. Mine all mine! You can find it here: Kicked Up Mac and Cheese.
See what we do when we talk about it? It. The deliciousness and fun we have compiling? I learned how to seed a pomegranate over at Food Wishes this week with no blood and no purple fingers and was on the phone with my mom within minutes to share the fun. She immediately went after two she had on her counter and called back almost giddy with delight. She'd seeded two pomegranates in 20 minutes rather than the 30 it usually takes her for one. We laughed and asked each other what took us so long to learn this over and over as she shared her amazement.
Food is fun. Yesterday, following my son's amazing presentation of Chicken and Mushrooms, my girlie spent time on line and found recipes for Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo, a Caesar where you keep the Romaine leaf whole and an apple cake dessert. She wants to feed us for New Year's Eve. I'm all for it.
Let's keep the fun of all the Christmas holiday cooking (and the time to plan, create and share) in our hearts as this New Year arrives. And let's plan to offer what we enjoy in the conversation and the recipe sharing all year through.
Happy New Year to you. And Bon Appetite!