The house smells so good every time I walk into it today - garlic, onions, bacon - too bad none of it was for us! I often volunteer to cook meals for people who need them. I'm on a committee at our church and also for the base I live on to deliver fresh, hot meals. When our church does Family Promise, I volunteer for a shift and cook for them also. I'm often making a bit extra and handing it out to whomever is stopping by that day - Sunday when I made corn chowder, we invited a friend of Mia's over to play and they stayed for dinner. Sometimes its my friends, and sometimes it's the excellent therapists that end up walking away with a bite or two of some goodie.
Today I made a meal for a beautiful woman who has cared for Amelia and other children during church services. I really wanted to be able to give back to her during a time of need. I made sweet cornbread, collard greens, and more beans and sausage to drop off. I never thought I would like collard greens. I've had them a time or two and they just seemed so bland to me. But it turns out with enough bacon and onions, along with a touch of garlic, anything tastes scrumptious. I sweat those items first, then jammed the greens into the pot on top. Sprinkle kosher salt, cracked pepper, and sugar and put the lid on to let them cook away. I think most people add a bit of stock but the lid was heavy and they had their own liquid. They probably would have tasted good with a bit of heat and some acid - like maybe some cayenne or red pepper flakes, very subtle; or garnished afterwards with a shake or two of tabasco and/or vinegar.
I also cooked up some pears for Olivia and hummus for home group (bible studies in someone's home). I made another dip for home group tonight out of stuff hanging out in my fridge. 2 blocks of cream cheese, big handful of sun dried tomatoes, a jar of feta in oil (minus the oil), 2 garlic cloves, a tiny glad container (about 1/4 cup) of pureed basil from my garden a while ago, 4-5 black olives that were left over from a salad the other night. It turned out great. I think it would also make a great stuffing for chicken; or with some roasted red peppers and fresh spinach spread on a hot crepe and folded for a "crepe sandwich" would be YUM.
Every time I cook now, I think of Olivia. Every.Single.Time. It's an awareness I wish I didn't have; sort of like the first time you found out there wasn't Santa Claus. I think to myself... Does this have too many carbs? How many calories are in this dish? How can I keep the flavor and lose the calories?
Will this be the last time I cook this?
No, actually it feels more like the way the world changed September 11, 2001.
The world no longer felt as safe, happy and innocent as it had just seconds before, with the sick feeling that nothing would ever be the same again. It's how my world changed when we got the PWS diagnosis.