Getting inspiration

One of my favorite times of the day is my lunch break. One reason is that I often make something snazzy for lunch. But another is I typically peruse my cooking reading material and try to get ideas and choose my next experiment or project. Some of what I read is print, some electronic.

  • For the Love of Cooking – I love the recipes and photos here.
  • Cooking Light – Once a month this magazine show up and I get to chill and read it over lunch. Sometimes I use the recipes, sometimes I read the nifty articles and get ideas for things to make
  • Big Girl’s Small Kitchen – easy, tasty, real world recipes
  • Smitten Kitchen – great photos, inventive recipes
  • Sprouted Kitchen – simple, fresh, elegant recipes
  • Simple Recipes – lots of variety in recipes

I also draw a great deal of inspiration from my grandmothers both of whom were good cooks. One of them was a dump cook who often didn’t measure stuff and just winged it tasting stuff as she went. My other grandmother had recipes but typically in her head. Luckily my mom and I painstakingly extracted and codified them. Otherwise there are many things that would have been lost. When I’m cooking I often find myself directed by the phrase “what would Gram do”.

So much of the food I had growing up was seasonal, regional, cultural, and familial that I find myself drawn back to those things as part of my cooking ethos. Whether it was the Christmas dessert trays for the extended family, the pot of split pea soup or stuffed cabbages she’d send home with my mom, making food was more often than not an act of sharing with family and/or friends. This is the best explanation I can offer for why I often find myself toting baked goods through TSA.

My gram would make the most of everything she had. For me this is what the CSA box challenge is all about. It is a test of how to use everything up in the most effective, efficient, and tasty manner. I’m always learning. Like who knew you could eat turnip greens? I sure didn’t until this past spring.

Whatever I’m trying to make it is as much as about the creative experience as just putting something on the table to eat. I’m not sure I could make good food 6 days a week otherwise!

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