A few weeks ago, I watched the movie The Hundred Foot Journey, which is an amazing story of community and food. Really, really good food. Watching that movie led me to looking up food websites (which then led me to the discovery of coffee jelly!). Then, I picked up My Life in France, by Julia Child. As I read it, I thought, Wow, I want to start cooking fancier food. Not just for entertaining purposes, but even for myself throughout the day. The thought of "fancy food" seemed a little daunting, because I'm not a professional chef and don't have loads of time to dedicate to cooking. But still, wouldn't "fancy food" be nice?
As I continued to let this percolate in my thoughts like a good cup of coffee (and yes, I'm on my second cup today, so that lovely beverage is also on my mind!), I realized that I often equate "fancy food" with "complicated food." I commonly want to make something quite easily, because I don't have time to make fancy food, right? I'm a one-bowl-per-recipe kind of cook (guess who ignores cooking instructions when they insist on separate bowls?). Yet, lately I've been thinking about how sometimes, the simplest of foods are quite enjoyable-and can be presented in exciting, fancy ways.
These thoughts all started to reach this point when one evening, my husband made us some ramen for a snack. Not complicated ramen; just the super cheap packaged, processed, salty deliciousness that many college students gobble up. Jacob kicked me out of the kitchen as he prepared the food, and a few minutes later when we sat down to eat, it was anything but boring. It wasn't complicated, either. My husband-from what I could tell-just added nori, celery, fresh lime, some spices, and a raw egg to each bowl. Super easy to make, but quite tasty, and a definite step up from a plain bowl of ramen.
The other day, I made bierocks. As I ate my warm, moist roll for dinner one night, I chewed slowly, savoring the flavors of cabbage mixing with the beef, onion, and sweetness of the bread. Such simple flavors were not necessarily "fancy," but they were really, really good-and anything but boring!
|So innocent looking, but so awesome.|
|Seasoned fries, bacon, chicken, sauteed onions and peppers,|
white queso, and ranch dressing. So good!
|So much more exciting and delicious than plain ol' french fries with ketchup.|
I'm usually never intentional about food presentation, but I think it would be fun to focus more on how I'm presenting the food-making sure that the array of dishes looks nice. A few months back, I found a couple nice-looking trays at a thrift store, and I think I'll start using them more often. Of course, this is coming from the girl who had a friend over to breakfast today and did not present any of the food in extra-special ways. It's a process, people-I'll get there eventually.
And at least I didn't burn the bacon ;)