Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Housemates are Lovely People / A Return to Cooking

The little note with the smily on it says "Enjoy!" and this is from the morning when Iain and Emily made heart-shaped biscuits and our schedules were such that they both left before I woke up. So I made myself some breakfast in bed with those biscuits, turmeric eggs, a kiwi and a cup of coffee. This was a day that I wrote and meditated for many hours, as I have been over these past weeks, and after a ton of soul-searching I am ready to come back to the world - and, specifically, the world of creative kitcheneering.

Here is some documentation that I haven't totally let my cheffiness slide. I got a Southwest Indian Cookbook from Amazon for super cheap and have been exploring it for some more culinary authenticity in my book, and because it's real yummy. The recipes are all very simple and satisfying, and right down my alley of bringing out the soul of the ingredients. For Zuni Succotash, a dish of corn, green beans, and pinto beans, I ground up sunflower seeds in our mortar and pestle:

The seasonings for much of the food in this recipe book are pretty straightforward: butter, salt, pepper, meat drippings. In other words, the richness of the ingredients provide the flavor, rather than a complex spice palate like in some Asian cooking. I wonder if there are some really specific regional spices that the cookbook doesn't include, or whether there are also more complex Southwest Indian recipes out there in addition to these yummy home-cooky recipes in my cookbook. Though, for the purposes of my book, my characters will be exposed more to home cooking than restaurants or way stations or whatever. Street food. Hmm. So many ideas! I'd love to hear from any of you readers with thoughts on Native American cooking, invented cuisines, or alternate-reality cultures.

Here is the succotash - yummmmmmm!!!!!:


I hate to leave you without a recipe, but I feel bad posting verbatim from a book. Rest assured that as I explore more of this food I will be posting Moon-People cuisine, which is going to draw from the ways that people have traditionally cooked the plants and animals of North America, but also from my own imagination, and possibly some techniques from North African cooking (Moroccan, specifically, perhaps).

Go forth to your kitchens and cook with love!

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