Tonight, as I picked up my 8 massive cookbooks off the checkout counter at the library, I watched the librarian’s eyes squint into a dirty look like she smelled bad cheese. I smiled briefly, cheeks reddening, and whisked my pile of books out the door before she could comment. This was my second trip this week to pick up a massive pile of cookbooks. She’s on to me.
I go a little crazy once the rainy season begins. And after the driest summer in recent years, the rain began to pour the day after Monica’s wedding like someone had turned on the faucet. And this year, I didn’t have my normal temper tantrum at the return of the rainy season. I just felt relieved that my plants would get some moisture without raising the water bill even higher. And I could almost hear my plants singing in the rain along with the tree frogs.
Every winter I choose a cookbook or two and cook my heart out. This keeps me out of trouble and repels the winter blues, because how can you be sad when you are making kick ass food in the kitchen. And I tuck all of my soups, braises, stocks, and stews into Gladware boxes with artist tape labels describing the contents and stack them in our massive freezer. And we eat this treasure trove when I’m busy in the garden. It’s a great system and Charlie hasn’t complained yet.
Now, I normally try to hide my winter cooking binge, because it’s a bit unseemly. But, its so much FUN! The clerks at my favorite grocery stores know me well and simply ask, 'What ya makin’ now?' Charlie never knows what he’s coming home to at the end of the route. For instance right now, I have a five-pound duck unthawing on my counter to make Duck a l’Orange. I’m in a retro sixties mood. What can I say?
But, this year, I’m going to share my winter cooking storm with you. So buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride!