I recently took out a few recipe books from the library. I enjoy reading them like you would any other book. I love how inspired I get when I flip through the pages, knowing that there are many more creations for me to explore.
My passion for cooking has become a delight to my heart. Every time I tie my apron around my waist, open the cookbook to my recipe of choice, and smell the aromas starting to swirl in the air, I feel at peace. Cooking, for me, should not be rushed. Anytime I try to do it in a hurry, I get stressed out and freeze up, I snap at Jake, and my food is less than lackluster. I need a good hour to prepare supper, even if I don't use the full amount of time.
Some might point out that by using a recipe book I am inhibiting my creative juices from flowing. That is most certainly not the case. For me to follow a recipe book is like disappearing into another world, it's like opening up a Pandora's box full of new combinations of spices, textures, and flavours. I love the pictures, the words, the feel of the page. The word 'fold' makes me feel euphoric, particularly because it's usually involved with egg whites, which means dessert. (It also means something is going to be light and fluffy, like pancakes...that is also very exciting!)
I had been feeling in a rut with food, especially since beginning a new meal plan/diet at the start of January. Vegetable this, chicken that. It seemed like there were only so many ways you could steam asparagus until you get sick of it, and eating salad with chicken and balsamic vinegar for days on end can become less than appealing. Then I discover recipes like Tosca Reno's Moroccan Chicken and Green Lentils. How can chicken fried with cinnamon, cumin and chili powder, and green lentils doused in an olive oil/white wine vinegar/chili powder/cumin sauce be anything but boring?
It can't. And that is why recipe books make the kitchen come alive for me.