Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


Cooking compadres

Are there certain people you love to cook with? Friends who see and smell and taste food the same way you do? Who share your passion for fresh and fabulous cuisine and can go the distance with you at the produce market and in the kitchen?

I do, and it's such a lucky thing. There is something very special for me about creating a feast with like-minded cooks and then sitting down to savor it together.

Here's what happened when Ricky and Cathy T. came to see us over the weekend. On the second day of the visit, we meandered through the Berkeley Botanical Garden, marveling at the great beauty and variety of the plant world. Then we stopped at Monterey Market so R & C could stock up on exotic veggies before heading back up to their mountaintop. They planned to get on the road immediately and make it home before dark.

But then I started wheedling. We NEVER get to cook together, I said. And you almost NEVER come to see us. And we have all this WONDERFUL food we just bought. So PLEASE stay for dinner.

And it worked. Ricky and I got busy devising a meal from the various ingredients we had just purchased, and then we cooked it, and then we feasted together and shared all our recent joys and challenges and bright ideas around the table.

Here's the menu:
1) Cappellini with arugula/parsley/almond pesto
2) Romano beans stewed with fresh corn and tomatoes
3) Ling cod with sauteed morels and shallots (for the non vegetarians on hand)
4) Zabaglione (Italian marsala-laced custard) folded into whipped cream with macerated fresh blackberries

Need I say how delicious this was? And I don't mean the food. Well, yes, I do mean the food, but even more the incredibly rare and wonderful experience of this culinary collaboration and all that flowed from it.

Find some cooking companions, or if you already have some, get together often to cultivate your friendship and your passion for beautiful, nourishing food. And remember to give thanks for the fact that you are so well fed, on so many levels.

Blessings and bon appetit!


At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree...everyone should find themself a cooking companion! It's such a fun way to get together....and so productive too!


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