This one goes out to the one I love

GUYSGUYSGUYSGUYSGUYS. Yesterday was a cooking triumph. A culinary victory. I dedicate this blog post to the one I love. Everything yesterday was made instantly better (actually, just plain MADE) thanks to my Cuisinart 11 Plus Food Processor.

I was going to blog about the tedium of writing thank you cards, or how I always look like an air-dried Yorkie in the humidity here, or about the panic I felt when I saw an officer snap on a blue latex glove after he called my name in secondary customs screening the day I arrived. All for another time, friends. But I am still riding the housewife high of last night’s successful domestic endeavour.

You can call off the extraction team. The Brussel sprouts did not keep me down very long. I’m adapting more and more as the weeks pass. For example – this week I did not consult a single recipe. I cooked using my memory. Making past adequacies new delicacies. I applied the limited newfound culinary common sense I have.  And sent the occasional text to my mom.

It is thesis crunch-time in this household, so carbs are back in the mix! We are straying from the IP diet one night a week so that we can eat pasta. Last week was spaghetti and tomato sauce with turkey sausage. We drank wine together for the first time at dinner since being married, and we were instantly affected. Happier. The conversation went exactly like this:

Me: “You know, I really like Shania Twain.”

Husband: “I hate vegans.”

Happier. Buzzed.

(Apologies to any vegans reading, I don’t think my husband actually hates you, nor do I think I really am into Shania Twain #sorryShania.)

We plan pasta night for Wednesdays now, to get through that mid-week lull. This week I thought I’d go WILD and use an Alfredo sauce. I bought a reduced-fat one because I am highly reactive explosive intolerant to high-fat diary products, the heavy cream and butter in Alfredo sauce being two excellent examples. Usually consuming such dairy makes me feel so much pain in my belly, I lie on the floor like Mindy Lahiri and think I’m dying. Then I usually vomit. But the reduced-fat was a compromise between pleasing my husband and poisoning myself.

It almost worked. It was delicious and he was so happy. No wine required! I didn’t vomit, but I did feel weird. Weirder still the next day, when it seemed improbable that I would be able to move off the couch. I was just about to text him late-afternoon to tell him to pick up his own supper on his way home from school when this weird domestic dignity took over me. I knew I had fresh produce in the fridge I’d planned to use for that day’s meal. And my meal planning was going so well! So goddammit, I was going to get off my sorry derrière and cook. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a good dairy pun.)

And I cooked my ass off. Took me about three times as long as usual, but everything I made yesterday was from SCRATCH. I started by making meatballs. My food processor turn an English muffin into bread crumbs in an impressive few seconds. Then did the same with an onion. My self-wallowing was being pulverized as quickly as my ingredients because using that food processor made me feel like a BOSS.

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(Side note: I wanted these meatballs to be insanely delicious. Growing up, my friend’s mom was famous for her meatballs. Her name also started with the letter M, so the catchy alliteration just helped the word spread faster. I am somewhat of a meatball connoisseur, and I always suspected they were actually just store-bought frozen M&M meatballs with, no doubt, a lovely homemade sauce. It mattered to me that I could make mine better.)

Next I made cauliflower fried rice, and the processor decimated 11 cups of that stuff in under 30 seconds. I should really start making my own demo videos. They would be… spirited.

When I was younger (still in my twenties, though) and people asked me what I drove, I would honestly answer “a blue car.” But if you ask me what I used yesterday, I can instantly brag that my processor has 1 HP (that’s horsepower to all you non-auto/non-food-processor folk) and literally eliminates the labour from cooking with its stainless steel blades that can chop, shred, grate, mix, and knead. It kind of turns me on.

After the rice, I made a coleslaw with cabbage, carrot, and an Asian-inspired vinaigrette. BAM.

If I could accept an award for my performance yesterday, I would have to add before they cue the music that I am eternally grateful to Gail Hamilton for her generosity & wisdom in gifting me this most useful, esteem-building tool for the kitchen.

To top it all off, my husband exclaimed at the dinner table they were the best meatballs he’d ever eaten (why is Lynn Ann not surprised) and we had enough for leftovers so that today’s lunch is a mere touch of a microwave button. That means this morning I’m poolside, kicking my feet up.

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Yesterday was most decidedly a win. I know they won’t all be wins, but it’s good to have one in the bank. I will look back on it fondly as the true beginnings of a domestic diva.

 

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