Tag Archives: Cook

JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 9 – DAY 50 trust is cooking on faith

20 Feb


I’m a much better home chef these days. And, tonight, I surprised myself. We are trying yet another meal plan (Purple Carrot!) and the recipe tonight called for an avocado. Which is provided. But it was green. Like… really green.

I didn’t have another avocado to choose from, or in our pantry, nor did I want to go to the store (that’s the whole point of the meal-in-a-box!). So I winged it. I ran on faith. I used that ripe avocado anyway.

Maybe this isn’t all that bold or audacious for you – but for me? Yes. This is groundbreaking. I feel most in my comfort zone when following the recipe. I don’t veer off the page usually. and when I do it is a disaster waiting to happen or blow up in the oven.

The good news is the recipe still tasted GREAT! I was impressed and amazed and a little purple with pride.

Maybe all my cooking needs is a little more trust… and avocados.
Trust me!
More tomorrow.



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JAMIE’S BLOG – DAY 319 :: blissful eating

19 Nov

Today’s bliss…cooking… and eating.

I don’t do it often, but tonight I did…. cook that is.
Because it was Julia Child Day at my alma mater of course!

“For students, the highlights of Julia Child Day are house dinners. Entrees this year include brie en croute, pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce, beef bourguignon and poached local fish with citrus beurre blanc.”

I’m not sure I can pronounce most of that, but it sounds lovely doesn’t it?

And that is so NOT what I prepared in my kitchen tonight. My creation was more of a cross between a burrito and a potato plus some spinach. Julia is shaking her head and a vat of butter somewhere at that I’m sure (but I promise it tasted good).

Tonight, as I was cooking (or sautéing, really) I reflected on The French Chef. It’s a tale of Pride and Pressure. I’m so proud of Julia Child and relish the thought that we walked down the same aisle at the library, maybe even picked up the same dusty forgotten book on a shelf. Or possibly sat gazing out a window, inspired by the same tree’s leaves falling, decorating Paradise Pond.

And then there is that pressure point. The one that comes rearing it’s big ugly head at the thought of sharing the same book, gazing at the same tree, and realizing there is so much to live UP to in this long line of amazing women traveling through the halls of Smith College. The pressure is real.

But that brings me to another “P” word, the one that I have to say over and over to myself to remain grateful and not overwhelmed with pressure. Privilege.

All women deserve the attention, detail, education, and exponentially expanding experience that comes from an amazing college education, no matter how it is packaged up or where/which campus it occurs.

So thank you, Smith College. I may always feel the pressure to live up to your good name, but I will never forget the privilege that comes with it.

And to that, I raise a block of brie and chocolate croissant.
Pure. Bliss.

More tomorrow. 

{favorite recipe?}

Day 12: kill a chicken

12 Jan

A key family member has told me that I killed a chicken. I believe the exact words were: “you rung its neck.”

I was maybe three years old so I don’t recall the event. My grandparents were farmers. Among other animals, they raised chickens. Perhaps it was chicken season or something? I don’t know.

Regardless, according to my father: I have engaged in the act of killing my own food, at least once.

I grew up in Idaho, farms on every street corner (er, county road), fishing aplenty, hunting the norm. And here we have Idaho… the home of the potato. Land of food.

On long family car trips my parents would point to fields of green and comment, “oh, look at that wheat” — or barely, or corn, you fill in the blank.

I would stare dumbfounded out the window scanning the rows of green for a sign. I don’t know a potato field from a cucumber farm.

Despite growing up in Idaho, I understand very little about farming.
Or agriculture.
Or where my food comes from.

I never learned to cook. I didn’t have to.

Food magically appeared on my plate from my mother, “Mama Sling”, who had a passion for cooking.

I detested the idea of cooking, it felt like punishment. Plus, I had other important things to learn, like perfecting my basketball game and failing to understand algebra.

I can still see Mama Sling waving her spatula in the air, “Jamie, I can teach you how to cook. You’re going to regret this if you don’t learn from me.”

I refused and happily chose to do the dishes instead.

I went off to college where food also magically appeared. As an adult, it was easily obtained from restaurants and prepared food aisles in the grocery story.  And, now, from my fabulous boyfriend, Justin, who loves to cook.

Like the great leprechaun Lucky would say it’s magically delicious.
Or more appropriately for me it’s magically Starbucks and The Cheesecake Factory.

Mama Sling taught me many amazing and wonderful things about life.

Unfortunately, she died before she could share her own special knowledge of the kitchen, her passion for food, our secret family recipes.

And she was right. I regret not learning from her.  I just wasn’t ready.

But, now I am.

So for this year, I have a two-step strategy:

I have immersed myself in a yearlong program through Integrative Nutrition. I am learning about food… a lot about food.  I will write more about this one, trust me.

2. DO
I will cook every other night. It will be my day to shop, prepare and cook …something.
I don’t plan on ringing any chicken necks. I do plan on being more involved in my food choices, and better understanding where my food comes from.

Somewhere Mama Sling is pleased.
And laughing.
And shaking her head saying, “I told you so.”

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