I’ve been an emotional eater for most of my life. I’ve had heavenly pockets of time where I haven’t used food emotionally, but they were always short lived. These past four years, I’ve worked hard on my relationship with food, looked it straight in the face, and asked it what it had to tell me.
My grandmother says she was a pig in a past life because NO ONE loves corn as much as she does. I think I might have been salmon, because I cling to it with ferocious adoration. Wait, would that make me a cannibal? Weird.
I don’t care. It’s my favorite food. If I had to eat ONE thing for the rest of my life, salmon would be it. Protein and good omega-3 fats plus amazing flavor will makes for a joyful me. Simply broiled or seared is my go-to method, because I’m in love with its crackly exterior and it’s all I need. Wait does this mean that according to my grandmother’s theory that I’d be a cat because cats eat salmon? Because that’s inaccurate.
I don’t drink much anymore, but man, I have a soft spot in my heart for a classic, super boozy cocktail. This is a far cry from my college years, which consisted of beer, cosmos, sour mix margaritas and anything ending in tini. Guys, I was classy.
Now, since my drinks are few and far between, when I do indulge (because there will never be a time when I am completely sober, even if I might go weeks between drinking occasions), it better be 100% WORTH IT. It’s either an amazing glass of red Zinfandel, crisp glass of Rose, or a stiff, high quality, completely from-scratch cocktail. Like this one.
We all know how moody chicken breast can be; it needs to be treated thoughtfully to be palatable. With haphazard preparation, it’s like eating crumbly paper and who wants that in your mouth? No one. Grilling this tricky cut of chicken works well; the fiery char imparts its characteristic good flavor. But, honestly, I’m getting bored. So let’s take it up a notch.
Spring loves to gloat about its mostly green, crisp vegetables, doesn’t it? It’s primetime for vegetables like artichokes, snap peas, peas, radishes, and my personal favorite, asparagus. I’ll gladly pay the pee price for them. Consuming these vegetables during spring vs. non-spring isn’t in the same galaxy. Although asparagus is available year round, the fat stalks that slowly materialize in the months of April and May make those skinny ones look pathetic. First world, I’m-a-huge-brat conundrum, yes, but a huge conundrum nonetheless.
I have a client whose taste in food mirrors mine. She loves fresh, seasonal cuisine that runs rampant in California and Italy. The type that erupts with color, taste, and variety. Huge, family-style plates overflowing with different high quality meats, fruits, vegetables, and cheeses are her jam. Mine, too. I would characterize this taste as humbly exquisite and refined. But. This taste gets bulldozed the second pulled pork is mentioned.
Pesto is a love language and everyone wants to be spoken to. It’s the safety net, the comfort favorite, and the ultimate go-to. If I’m cooking for people whose taste buds I don’t know, or am feeling weary about serving something “interesting” or “different”, I do not take the road less traveled by. I take the one lined with pesto.
I grew up loving pesto, too. When my mom was raising my sister and me and was Mom-level crazy busy, an easy dinner was pasta dumped with the store bought stuff which still blew my socks off. Much later, I made my own and subsequently had a mini life revelation. If I was already in love with the store bought stuff, I wanted to propose to the homemade version.