Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting Over it

The gluten free thing is getting easier every day and I have found my groove in the kitchen again. I was a little freaked for a while about having to miss out on stuff I love, but I am seeing something positive emerge from out of the seemingly grim reality of never eating a piece of pizza again from my favorite pizza place, or a juicy burger from other favorite haunts. I am a foodie after all and what might not be a grim prospect for some, was for me. But no more!

I started to truly analyze what was bothering me the most about these food intolerances I have learned of, and it isn't the food itself that I was grieving over, it is the loss of a big part of my culture which is the freedom to eat out anywhere and at any time when the occasion arises. I'm not only talking about dining out at restaurants, it is also difficult to safely dine at others' homes as well, or to join my coworkers and eat what is catered into the office on a fairly regular basis. Food is a heavy part of one's culture. I have to strike out of my cultural norm and learn to create something new and better for myself.

I think the area I live in needs a gluten free something or other...a private chef, or cafe maybe... Should I take a giant leap into something daring? Any endeavor into the culinary world is a risky one if you miss your mark, but there is a niche here that is hard to ignore. I need to consult my good chef friend and a few others to explore the possibility of finally putting a culinary business together. My brother has experience in managing restaurants and perhaps I should talk to him as well.

Cooking with whole foods has always been easy for me, but it became very difficult over the past year when I didn't feel inspired to cook great food(it is a different way of life for me, being the single working mom). And finding out about all the different food intolerances was a hard blow at first which didn't help. I had started to rely on convenience. But I am slowly realizing what has fallen right into my lap and I need to pay attention and get focused. I am feeling inspired for the first time in a long while.

Culinary sauces are amongst my favorite foods to experiment with. Lately I have been thinking about sauces for poultry or pork. I made one up and emailed it to myself which is becoming a preferred method of organizing my ideas. It is much easier to find stuff I need this way and I am never too far from a computer. All the raw material I need for copy should I decide to write a cook book is already in black and white and waiting for me. I should consult with my sister too, she had to put a cook book together for a school assignment. I have no idea how that turned out, but she used different recipes from family members(including me).

Anyway, I had been imagining all last week having a beautifully roasted chicken stuffed with lemons, scallions, and butter. I thought meticulously about what elements in a sauce I wanted to pair with the meat. Did I want sweet or savory? Did I want au jus or something more? Did I want familiar or exotic?

The flavors and textures started formulating in my mind. This is the creative process happening. I wanted to use wine, I imagined a drier light wine like chardonnay. I imagined how it might taste coupled with the lemon chicken stock as a base for my sauce. I thought about how the wine would taste drinking it straight with dinner. I wanted the sauce to be semi exotic with a bit of sweet but not too much. Something fruity was coming into focus. Something light and distinct and complimentary with the lemon undertones...and just like that apricots came to mind.

My friends, a sauce was born. I have plans to make versions possibly using hints of vanilla or nutmeg and trying different liqueurs and different fruits. It will get very interesting doing all this experimentation and I will need guinea pigs dear readers. By the way, I made the roasted chicken exactly as I had envisioned it, and the sauce complimented it perfectly.

I am now imagining a beautiful roasted pork tenderloin paired with a fresh raspberry sauce using the same principle as the other one. I'm not sure if I would stick with a nice chardonnay or try a rose wine of some kind when using raspberries. I will need to experiment and have some tasters tell me what they think is best. Personally I think they both sound great!

So here are my ramblings for the day. I hope you found something entertaining. I have to run out now and register my son for summer day camp and take care of a few other errands. But if I could, I'd sit here and write the day away. I'm feeling creative and want to act on it. I still have paintings swirling around somewhere in the back of mind too, along with a hundred more creative projects. Taming the time beast is forever daunting.


Anonymous said...

Bravo! positivity out of adversity I love it. Do your research practice your skills and remember good food is good food whatever it has or doesn't have in it. Don't try and reinvent the wheel there are plenty of classic combinations out there, it's all about research and that extra little something memorable you can bring to the table.


Anonymous said...

Buy you a bottle of Chenin Blanc for your raspberry suace. It's fruitier taste may be what you're looking for. And if it doesn't work for the sauce, sip it with your favorite cheese.


Ginny said...

Thanks Tod, I will give that a try! :)