Keep it simple

The last week has been a challenging one, as Zoë’s taste buds have seemed to go on vacation one more time. It is hard to find the motivation to eat when you cannot taste what you are eating. It is also a challenge to cook for someone whose taste buds are temporarily on vacation. However, through it all I have learned an important lesson. Sometimes simple is best. It really hit home for me tonight as I was watching a rerun of Rachel vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off where Taylor Dayne simple tomato basil sauce beat out Joey Fatone. The reason she won was the simplicity of her sauce. They could taste the tomato, the cheese, and the basil. Sometimes simple is better. After trying a wide diversity of things this last week to tantalize Zoë’s taste buds, the one thing that tasted good for her was chicken salad.
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It’s like riding a bike.

After about six years of eating a vegetarian diet, Zoë came home from running errands to tell me she had a cheeseburger. Well, it was not quite that simple. All the vegetarian protein options I could come up with tasted like nothing, not even cardboard. Being on chemo, she needed lots of protein. A cheeseburger tasted good, not great, but at least it had some taste. So now, I am blowing the dust off my recipes and my meat cooking skills. She made this decision just in time for Thanksgiving. So once again, I made our annual turkey along with a vegetarian option to contribute to our open house potluck dinner where we always have far more food then one needs. Once again, I decided to brine the turkey.
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Tebowing in my kitchen

A fellow food blogger, Warren Caterson, whose sense of humor, I love wrote a piece called Excuse Me While I Chill Some Wine and Take a Few Moments to Tebow. In it he started by talking about Tim Tebow and how when he does well on the field, he drops down to one knee and prays. After talking about football for a moment, he brought it to a place I could relate to on a personal level. He said, “For me, culinary expertise is a gift just like any talent. The ability to taste, to tweak, to cook is all on loan.” I could not agree more. I know that everything I learn about food, every gift I have in the kitchen, every smell that comes alive, the aroma that fills the air, the way the foods change textures as I work with them. All of these things are a gift from the Infinite. Warren jokingly said, “So if my next meal pleases the palates of my guests? Perhaps you just might catch a glimpse of me "Tebowing" in the darkness of my pantry. Because being thankful for whatever talent I might have is something I will strive for.”
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