Cooking it up
by Nicole Lee
Since today’s food journal isn’t that interesting (Eggs with salsa and leftover marrow + zucchini spaghetti and meat sauce), I’ll give a brief insight into how I’m dealing with this diet, cooking-wise.
I’m a big fan of cooking. There are a number of things that give this away: The thick cookbooks that adorn two to three full racks on my shelves, my subscription to Cook’s Illustrated magazine, my willingness to sift through Martha Stewart magazines for an interesting recipe, my undeniably dorky admiration of Alton Brown (I have a poster of him somewhere…), my ever-growing kitchen gadget collection, my prized All-Clad pans and cast-iron skillets, and much much more. I also take the science of cooking quite seriously, and often break out the scale (a digital scale that does ounces and grams) and the instant-read thermometer. You can say it’s bordering on obsession.
However, prior to this diet, we would order delivery or eat out almost all the time. It turns out there’s a competing factor to my love of cooking: Laziness. It’s just so much easier to pick up the phone than putter around the kitchen (especially since we don’t have a dishwasher). I do enjoy cooking, but I sometimes dislike the tediousness of it (julienning six zucchini! mincing five cloves of garlic! chopping up five different vegetables for a salad!), especially when I’m just SOHUNGRY and I CANTWAIT.
As this diet reveals, however, I CAN wait. The secret seems to be having enough emergency food in the fridge so that there’s literally no excuse for not having anything to eat. The other secret is to know about quick cooking techniques that can get dinner in your belly in the shortest amount of time possible. The zucchini spaghetti meal, for example, took maybe 15 minutes. A delivery person would take longer than that. While I’m not the sort of person to plan a week’s menu ahead of time, I’ve taken to having a rough idea of what I’ll cook in any given week. That’s why I made the chicken stock last week, and that beef stock this week. It’s a “just in case” measure. And besides, it excites that part of my brain that gets aroused by empirical research. SCIENCE, I declare, as I witness the Maillard reaction in my pan, and as I fiddle with the high pressure setting on my pressure cooker.
The only downside seems to be that all this cooking is taking up serious real estate in my fridge:
(Yes, I bought pre-peeled garlic. Sorry. I told you I was lazy.)
I guess that just means I’ll have to cook and eat more. Oh well.