Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cooking Frenzy

Two Parts, 2007, Oil on Panel, 18x18

So last week, I managed to get a little bit of work done, mostly by just spending an hour or two, here and there in the studio. Doug and our son were in the Grand Canyon for a boy scout camping trip and so I was home with the girls and our other son. I let them watch too much tv, but we also kept busy with some art projects and games.

Mostly though, what I did, was to spend many hours in the kitchen, cooking! It started with two dozen muffins that I made for a party/brunch/easter egg hunt last Saturday. They turned out great and I realized that I hadn't made muffins in about ten years. Which set of a three day obsession with making more, really good muffins. Unfortunately, none of the subsequent batches turned out quite so well, and so the chickens ate most of them. But in between making the muffins, as well as the usual cooking for dinners and so on, I decided to try my hand at making cheese. And yes, I have been informed that I could be insane because of this. I have had a book and a few kits for awhile, but have been a bit put off by how much work it seemed to be. Finally though, with a bit of extra time available it seemed like a good time to jump in. Turns out that it isn't a lot of work, it's just a project that needs attention at crucial intervals. My first few attempts failed because the milk didn't firm up, but after adjusting a few things, I finally ended up with something resembling a cheddar cheese wheel. And because when I do something that is fun, or successful, I always have to do more, more, more, and so I made another batch of cheddar and then a few rounds of goat cheese for good measure. The goat cheese is unbelievably easy, and tastes so much better than the store bought. The cheddar has to age for a few months which will be a good exercise in delayed gratification. I plan to make a few more varieties of hard cheese in the meantime, even though it is a bit of a risk as I won't know for awhile yet how the first ones turn out. But what the heck! I am just enjoying the process at this point.

And on Monday, the snow day, I topped this cooking frenzy off with a cake for my son's birthday. It was a three layer chocolate cake, with chocolate ganache between the layers and what else? chocolate butter cream frosting. We have all been in a sugar coma for two days now. Heh.

The funny thing is, is that while I was making the cheese I realized that the way I cook is the same way I paint. I like to do things that take awhile, yet I tend to choose simplicity over a lot of details or finesse. Patient, yet not. That's me.

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