Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Will you be my neighbour?

Summer is all about taking it easy, right? My dog Cooper knows all about that one - hence we are working on a bit of a double chin. But isn't he handsome? He's a pro at snuggling too, by the way, and has a soothing way of waking me up in the morning. It sure beats the beep-beep-beep of an alarm clock. I'll take puppy eyes any day!

So summer. And taking it easy. Slow cooked fork-tender meats. Barbeques. And a cold beer. Summer dresses and breezy air cutting through heat. Are we ready? I say bring it on!

Besides, 3/4 of the way into my Sprout year, I find it fitting to slow down, to stick with the familiar (most of the time, anyway, as I am sure there will be days I will be tempted to roll up some sushi, bake a mile high cake, or try a new vegetable), and get really good at just a few things.

My kiddos don't seam to mind. Last night at dinner I commented on how they've done an amazing job eating lately. They said it was because the food was normal. I threw in that a few short months ago there was nothing normal about cilantro, or raw onions for that matter. No comments after that, just chewing, and asking to be excused once mouths were wiped.

Interestingly enough, nine months ago I would have never made my own salsa. Roasting a chicken was reserved for a special day. Today, it is stress free cooking. It's fresh, and fast and comfortable. Learning can have it's ups and downs. And failures. But having learned is really, really nice. I'd like to think this is only the beginning, and I am proud of my family for sticking with me. Having once thought I would cook gourmet meals, beautifully plated, artistically styled... I realize now that cooking from scratch is what matters. Cooking it right, making it fun and having family and friends enjoying - mmmmm. It means the world to me.

So here's what I love most, and plan to work on over the next three months:

Bread - a good variety of shapes and tastes

Slow cooked meats - not the Crock Pot kind (even if there is nothing wrong with it)

Organic Burgers - I am convinced anything can be turned into a burger!

Fresh vegetables - lots of them, too... and summer salads

How's my vegetable garden, you ask? Well, it's turned into more of an herb garden. But I love herbs, so why not?! Besides, the idea of being able to harvest all summer long and having more than I can use sounds so... neighbourly!

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