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Old 09-09-2007, 07:59 PM   #21
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I, too, enjoyed your story David. Very sweet.

Growing up, my best friend in high school was and still is 100% Armenian. Her family and their meals. My gosh, I'd get invited to dinner at all costs, such wonderful food.

My inspiration was a quiet time in my grand parents kitchen where as a little very young girl, I'd sit for hours and watch the two of them in the kitchen prepare our family's meal. There was quiet there, grandma afraid to speak I often times thought, as grandpa had a harsh edge and grandma was meek.
Maybe it's associating creating with quiet which in turn I translate as a stress free zone and one where I am instantly calmed down. Almost like therapy too.

My love of knives/kitchenware/cookware/gadgets/stoves/ovens/peppermills/olive oil bottles and a large butlers pantry, they all fascinate me.
The challange of coming up with something totally odd, to me, is a big smile creator too. Example:
Dinner tonight, gorgeous pork chops > but I couldn't leave it there.
got out the jar of homemade pesto from my gardens' basil, the moutarde I brought home from Paris, PD's house seasoning that I now make in batches to divy out to each of the kids too, and "sugar". < just because I felt that with all those other flavors, maybe the chops needed a touch of sweet to counterbalance. They're marrying now and will be grilled on the GF for dinner. The noodles I made for this nights dinner are the same kind of dumb story. No rhyme or reason that I added the ingreds I did to them, but I was experimenting with odd additives [and just tasting them] they are so good and really shouldn't be.

Like others have said, it takes your mind off of a bad day at work, or a stupid boss or coworker that you'd like to smack, like the two I just got done working with. Maybe it's taking negative energy and applying it to something positive, who knows.

...Trials travel best when you're taking the transportation known as prayer...SLRC
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Old 09-09-2007, 08:01 PM   #22
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I have a high-tech job, so I love coming home and getting my hands into some low-tech activities - gardening and cooking are chief among them. I also like to try new foods and have more recipes than I can ever cook, I think And I love to eat good food, but don't want to go out to a restaurant and pay through the nose for it Finally, DH likes good food, too, so I like to make yummy stuff for both of us

The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
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Old 09-09-2007, 08:41 PM   #23
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I think being in a good mood and stress free makes the best meals.Ive worked in bakeries where some bakers say you need to be happy to make great breads and pastries if not they dont rise well etc and my mentor a french chef always said to make a great hollandaise,bernaise etc you need to be in a good mood for them to turn out great.I really believe this and have found out from experience this can be true.Especially the stress part I understand totally how cooking can get rid of stress as you really need to pay attention on what you are doing there for not thinking about the day gone by.But the master trick is to teach yourself to forget about the daily problems and for sure not let them make you lose sleep by running these problems over and over again in your head when you are trying to sleep.This is my method think about it but by bed time you need to practice to teach your self that right now you need to sleep so forget and relax because you can be sure the minute you wake up you will remember whats bugging you ,but at least you slept its hard to learn this but once you do you are a much better rested and ready to tackle the problem and sometimes your dreams solve the issue for you.
Its literally leave home problems at home and work problems at work.The minute you clock out at work thats it just go home and enjoy life and relax.As I said before it takes practice but believe me it works
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:31 PM   #24
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If I may I would like to say Amen and cudos to jpmcgrew and her comments of stress free cooking. I am a very novice cook, no depth, can't put a meal on the table with everything ready at the same time to serve, etc. I do put a serious effort into learning cusines for special people. Like the exchange student from Ukraine who was homesick for her food. I had never ever even seen any much less tasted any.

This is my approach to absolute full focus. In my little apartment all lights, TV, radio, etc. are off. I pray at my counter before I do anything at all with food. I give thanks for the food, the means to prepare it and for the person or persons for whom it is intended. Then I spend a few minutes thinking of these people and how very special they are and how special they are to me. They could be close friends, coworkers, or even someone who might buy something at a charity bake sale, or a homesick exchange student.

Then and only then do I turn the light on and begin prep. So deep is my concentration I generally forget to turn on any background sounds such as the TV. Time and space disappear. Sometimes several hours later I will return to earth with some success eventhough this might be my first effort. My first success with baking came this way after repeated failures with yeast bread.

If I forget in haste or pride to do this I guarantee you that the certain failure reminds me that I forgot. It's strange. I'm not a formally religious person. But it works for me. The first yeast bread that I was succesful with was Koloch, the Holy Bread, for the exchange student's Christmas Eve Holy Supper. I was worried after past repeated failures with yeast bread. The first Koloch came out, and the second practice came out and the bread to be used came out. D
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:05 PM   #25
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I cook because this is how I "love" my family and friends. It feeds MY soul. I guess that means I cook for purely selfish reasons!! It's relaxing and exciting at the same time. I love the process of getting ready - the mise en place - I get out my favorite bowls and I just like to look at all the ingredients and it's almost better than eating it and CERTAINLY better than the mess that is left!

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:23 PM   #26
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I like playing with fire!

Actually, I like creating things. I like taking all the seemingly unrelated items and bringing them all together into a coherent and tasty dish is just fun. I like chopping and cutting and measuring and sautéing and building the dish. Or I like to take a target item and figure out how to use it. Sometimes, I think making the dish is more exciting than actually eating it.
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:55 PM   #27
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I have to agree with YT and Uncle Bob. First and foremost, that grumbling in my abdomen drives me to the kitchen. Secondly, being a professional, "normal" cooking doesn't do me that much. I like the foreign, and exotic. This requires A LOT of practice, research, patience, etc. So, I like to cook the "weird" stuff (at least, to my family, that is). I also like to cook a meal I know will be appreciated, both at work and at home. Sometimes, however, the "experiemental urge" and the "satisfaction urge" are at odds. It makes life interesting, to say the least.
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:28 PM   #28
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Hearing something crash to the floor, folowed by the scampering of little kitten feet, will motivate me into the kitchen every time!

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