Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I’ve got the FEVER!!!

Festival Fever! Cooking Fever!! I’m afflicted with BOTH….someone help!!

First of all, the cooking. OMG…the cooking. I want to cook everything I see and hear about. Especially if it’s SOUP. I’ve always enjoyed making soups and stews. In the last couple of years, the desire for huge pots of soup seemed to dwindle, but IT’S BAAAACCCKKKKK!!!! I made hearty beef vegetable over the weekend, and sort of went overboard. Which I always do with soups.

When I set out to make a pot of soup, rarely do I follow a recipe. I just make it. One of the talents I seem to possess is cooking. I’m not offput by ingredient lists, or prepping (cleaning? Now that’s a different story). I have the ability to put ingredients into a pot and have it turn into a meal. WHO KNEW? I sure didn’t when I was younger---well, maybe a little bit………..I cooked once a week (when I didn’t forget and have to throw together some pasta and sauce) as a teen.

I actually learned some of my cooking skill from my dad. My parents divorced when I was a younger teen. I lived with my dad. Not because my mom isn’t awesome, but during their decision making, they thought it would be better for us to choose who we wanted to live with. I chose my dad because I was afraid he’d be lonely. As it turned out, my brother followed because he was torn, and didn’t know what to do, so that left mom by herself. Not an ideal situation when both parents are great people. My opinion on having to choose is not a good one. I think it’s far easier on the kid for the parents to just say ‘this is how it is’…….but it is what it is, and I harbor no resentment towards them. They were my age now ( or a tad older) when they divorced, and they did what they thought was best at the time. Just like we all do as parents. I adore both of my parents and am quite fortunate that they still have a relationship that enables us to get together at family functions with no animosity. Like son #1’s graduation. All of my maternal family came from Iowa, and we all mingled at Perfectly’s dad’s farm for the day. Now to me, that’s security. Knowing that your family is always family----even if marriages and life events don’t always go the way we envision.

So, there’s the back story as to how I came to live with my father and learned to cook (sort of) from him.

I began with soups right after college, when I had my first job. I’d throw stuff into a pot and MAN….it turned out GOOD!! My cooking skills improved, and now…I’m a pretty decent home cook! My latest obsession is with clam chowder. I watched FOODTV one day, and saw one of the hosts making clam chowder, and it wasn’t complicated AT ALL!! The only problem was our being landlocked and all….oh, and a small community..I was SURE I wouldn’t be able to purchase fresh or frozen shucked clams. I was right. None to be found but frozen packages of breaded ones for frying. I hesitantly went with canned clams. And as far as my unsophisticated palate goes? It was really GOOD! My son loved it, my husband loved it……it’s a hit at my house. I also make Parmesan/garlic soup crackers to pile onto the chowder. It’s great.

Also, I am so not a baker. But I found this recipe for lemon filled chocolates that I’m just going to have to try. I’m already varying the recipe in my head. ORANGE…..MINT……RASPBERRY…….the possibilities are ENDLESS.

Now the festivals. I am in full festival mode. I want to go to all the festivals in Missouri! Obviously, in the fall, that’s not a reality. They are EVERYWHERE. The dilemma is do I go to the old standbys? The ones we’ve gone to for YEARS? Or do I branch out and do something new, and different? What if new and different is a disappointment? And I miss the familiar standby? CAN YOU SEE MY PROBLEMS HERE, PEOPLE? This weekend is a choice between the Olde Tyme Apple Festival in Versailles, MO., or the Chalk Art Festival in Farmington, Mo? It has Wine, chocolate and chalk artists featured. They say there are craft vendors too. WINE? CHOCOLATE? Sounds tempting! But the Apple Festival is 4 square blocks (I think) of vendors galore. Besides, there’s the animal swap meet where we got Dex last year that takes place at the same time as the apple festival. I really can’t have another pet, so maybe I ought to skip that…….

See how my crazy works? My brain just goes non-stop in circles like that. I could continue the crazy debate in my brain if you’d like. I’m sure you’d just love it.

Look at the links and let me know what you think. I need ADVICE…!!
Toodles for now.


Anonymous said...

I would definitely go to the apple one--but stay away from the sketchy animal selling people!

Also, I think you are just naturally a good cook. I can't imagine you learned much from your parents as all they ever ate was white rice and beef hearts! (kidding, but you guys never did have any snacks at your house, damn healthy eaters!)


Perfectly Shelly said...

nope, no snacks. Maybe I've overcompensated a wee bit much since then?

"eat your heart out!!"

At least I've never had chocolate milk come out my nose............

Perfectly Shelly said...

oh, PhD...why the Apple Festival and not the art one? I figured you'd be all over the chalk art........

Just curious as to why you think the apple festival is the choice?