(Before I get started, I wanted to invite you to scroll all the way down to the bottom of my blog. I put something new there...)
I've been craving strange foods lately. No, I'm not pregnant for all you smart-alecks out there. I'm just weird, in case you didn't already know. Today I was craving a hot dog and a grilled cheese sandwich. I don't like hot dogs. I eat them on occasion, but I don't really like them, and it's about once a year when I feel the urge to eat one. And grilled cheese. Yum. I don't want a fancy one, though. No herbed focaccia with three cheeses and arugula for me. No, we're talking about white bread and the cheese that comes in the plastic wrappers. For the record, I stopped eating that kind of cheese years and years ago. That's how my family made them when I was young.
I think I crave these things when I get stressed out and want to go back to simpler times. A good example of these types of food is chocolate chip pancakes. My dad has made me chocolate chip pancakes most of my life. They can often be found in restaurants, but they never taste as good as when I was sitting in my kitchen in my jammies and slippers, talking to my dad on Saturday morning. Whenever I miss my dad, I head over to our local pancake house and order a stack of chocolate chip pancakes. They're not quite the same, though.
Tim did a blog entry a while back and it was an ode to his mom's cooking. My parents weren't exactly gourmands, but we always had dinner. More often than not, it was from a jar or box, but we didn't mind. Now that I'm older, there are occasions when I crave Ramen noodles or Spaghettio's or fish sticks. Things that gross Tim out. :)
I discovered that I love to cook back when I lived with my parents. When I moved out, though, I had to re-learn how to cook everything. I learned how to cook for 6 people - my parents, me, my sister, and two brothers. The first few meals I made myself after I moved out was enough to feed an army and I ended up eating what I made for three meals a day for a week! Over the years, I've gotten better and more adventurous with my cooking. I can even make things that Tim likes, which is no small feat. :) It's not that he's a picky eater, but we have opposite tastes sometimes. I like farm food - meatloaf, pot roast, mashed potatoes, steak, that sort of thing. Tim likes duck, Tom Kha, panang, sushi, pho, etc. Whereas my idea of a great dinner is a steak wrapped in bacon, baked potato, and a cob of corn, his idea of a great dinner is a bowl of Tom Kha, followed by panang and satay.
Our cooking styles are also opposite. Tim is an engineer and he uses recipes. When he makes a meal, there is a huge stack of measuring spoons and cups all over the counter. He is very "by the book" and if the recipe tells him to mix something for five minutes, he'll actually set a timer. He even measures milk before he adds it to eggs before scrambling them. :) I, on the other hand, do things completely differently. If I decide I want to make something, I get on the computer and read a bunch of recipes. Then I throw them all away and just start throwing things in a pan and see what happens. I haven't used a measuring device in a long time. Tim is the baker, though. He makes the world's greatest chocolate chip cookies. When it comes to baking, you have to measure, because everything in baking is about chemistry. I hate baking - I think it's tedious and boring. One of the things I hate about making cookies is that I feel like it takes all day. I will, however, spend all day making a 5-course meal. I know - I'm confusing.
One things we can agree on, though - we love and appreciate food!