First off, I have to say that I am jealous of my Tennessee friends who are already enjoying the chilly weather while we in Oklahoma are bounced mercilessly between warm and cold. Then the weathermen here have the gall to complain about “bad” weather coming, i.e colder weather. It’s fall, meaning that the temperature is supposed to drop! I have been really spoiled by Tennessee’s fairly predictable seasons. Sigh. Being pregnant isn’t helping. I feel hot all the time.
Speaking of the bun in the oven, we will be 19 weeks tomorrow . . . already! Only one week until the big reveal – boy or girl? I’m taking your wagers now. Baby has popped, meaning that I finally look pregnant instead of appearing to have feasted on one too many Dunkin’ Donuts. Also, baby is riding high. Jonah was low, so I could (and did) eat as much as I wanted. Not so this time ’round. I have found that out the hard way more than once now. Just a little too much and HELLO! the reverse switch magically turns on. The latest fiasco was Hideaway Pizza. It was my first time there and the pizza was good. Too good. So, hopefully lesson learned since I will only get larger from here on out.
After finally getting the nerve to pay my hefty library fine, which I blame entirely on the morning sickness phase, I have gotten back into reading. My latest love is Ruth Reichl. My friend Carla who has impeccalbe taste in books and food first lent me a Ruth Reichl book called Garlic and Sapphires. Not only can Ruth write, she’s funny and knows how to cook. Oh, and her books, which read like fiction, are not. I found her other two books snuggled in with the cookbooks, Comfort Me With Apples which was a little racy for my taste in some spots but fabulous and now I am devouring (ha ha, pun intended) Tender to the Bone.
Reading Ruth Reichl always gets me in a cooking mood. I desperately want to be a great cook, but I understand that cooking skills take time to develop and I am behind. My mom cooked because she had to feed us, not because she liked to. I think her mother, a severe woman, was the same way. My mom’s dishes were simple, easy and always good. My dad, on the other hand is more of the chef in the family, and his mother has been a cook her whole life. My Nanny is a country cook to the core – messy, funny, sweet, and her food tastes like she literally stirred love into it. The woman’s fried potatoes are an art. Dad’s forte is the grill, but he likes to mess around in the kitchen too. His fried catfish batter is awesome, and of course, he caught and cleaned the fish too.
While my Nanny showed me a thing or two in the kitchen on ym summer visits to Oklahoma, that was about the extent of my cooking education. I got a heap of cookbooks for my wedding. My Nanny gave me a battered and worn opy of the Joy of Cooking and my mom passed along the Survival Cookbook. Jason got me the ringed binder version of the new Betty Crocker cookbook. I would have to forgo this on my own. And I did pretty well much to my (and Jason’s) surprise. Oh there were blunders – big ones, but over time I have grown to really love it.
My current favorite cook is Paula Deen. I just love her personality. How can you not love that laugh? Her recipies, while wildly fattening (remember, everything in moderation) are fairly easy to master and incredibly good. So, I picked up one of her cookbooks at the library and was thrilled to see a heap of good Southern recipies that I cannot wait to try. My next big feat is to cook my own greens. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Okay, It’s late, I need to work, and now I am hungry. Ciao!