I've given up making declarations about things I'll never do. Life changes too much for it to make sense to say I'll never do a particular thing, even if it seems ridiculously out of the question at a given time.
Take buying a house. I never planned on staying in one place long enough that I'd do it, but here we are in a cute little house outside of San Francisco.
I also never thought I'd be interested in becoming a good cook. But our little house came with an amazing kitchen (below). For the first time in my adult life, I had sufficient counter space and a gas stove. Low and behold, I discovered cooking was fun!
My Dutch Oven is probably my favorite thing in the kitchen. I can make soup from scratch that tastes better than anything I can buy, and it gives me leftovers that last all week. (I'm always cold, so soup really is good food.)
|Butternut squash soup with homemade croutons.|
|French onion soup.|
I've learned that it's the little things that make the difference in cooking soup: learning that a shallot is not the same thing as a small onion, adding spices at the right time, making sure you brown the garlic and onions first, adding a flavorful garnish at the end. I realize that you probably already knew all of these things, but they're still new for me!
I read that Julia Child didn't learn to cook or learn French until she was 36—exactly my age—so there's still hope for me on both fronts. Yup, I've also been trying to get better at my French. Speaking of which, I should probably go do my lesson for the day. So I'll leave you with a few photos of the backyard garden where I get many of the ingredients for my soups.
|Herbs in the backyard garden.|
|Chard in the garden. Chard is a great substitute in soups that call for Spinach.|
|Pretending to water the garden; in truth, I only approach the watering can to take artsy photos of it.|