On Cooking

I wish I could remember the first days, weeks of being married. What groceries did we buy? What did I make? I basically went from sharing a room with my sister to sharing a room with Brandon. When my term at university wrapped up, I moved to Drumheller and rented a house for the few months before our wedding. This is all to say that I don't think I had much cooking chops before we were married (sorry Mum!). But I think I felt like a cook, you know, without experience. I recall moments chopping up vegetables. I had made salads for my Mum but I was insecure in the outside world. What if I'm chopping these peppers all wrong? Are people going to judge my salad? Does my chopping scream NOVICE?

Maybe it's all a vague memory because I started cooking like I'd been doing it all along. OH - I'm not saying it was great or anything. But my God-given personality traits lent to some cooking success. Details! Following the rules! This especially lent well with baking. Cooking requires some practiced intuition, in my experience.

For most of my life I've identified as a visual artist. Painting, drawing, the like. But outside of classes, assignments, and deadlines, my work halted. Guilt set in and it still does. Nearing the end of my last painting term I sprung ahead. Skills sunk in but they've been left hanging ever since. Uhg - I CRINGE at the paintings I've given people. I wish they would spontaneously combust. Friends, family - feel free to repurpose or throw away such paintings. Reader, are you still with me on this tangent? I'm getting there.

Fine art is not me right now. I reach for the daily life outlets. Take some photos here, carve a little stamp there. Cooking every day. These little projects satisfy me. Cooking AND taking photos of it, is like, doubly satisfying.

On Sunday I made a german pancake in my new cast iron skillet. I cleaned up and then I made granola. As soon as that came out of the oven, I popped in a chicken followed by squash and potatoes. The oven remained on because I had a honey almond cake to bake right after. And then I made stock. It was heavenly. I managed to document my granola with the remaining afternoon light. The recipe is below for anyone interested but really - granola is pretty open ended.




GRANOLA

4 c oats 1/2 c almonds, chopped 1/2 c sunflower seeds 1/2 c unsweetened coconut 1/2 c pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 1/4 flax seeds 2 TBSP sesame seeds

1/2 c honey 2 TBSP olive oil 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp vanilla

1 c dried fruit (or more, whatever you like)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat honey in a saucepan over low heat and stir in olive oil, cinnamon, vanilla.

Mix up all the dry goods, add the honey mixture, and incorporate until everything is moist. Spread out over two cookie sheets. Bake for 30 minutes. The granola will harden more once its out of the oven. Add in dry fruit.

**This recipe is an amalgamation of multiple other recipes. Please forgive me for not sourcing them all!