Friday, January 22, 2010

Cooking Therapy

Sometimes, things get too crazy and I just want to flee to the refuge of my kitchen. Yep - nobody here but me and the cookbooks. Is this the ultimate escape or what?

I take the first left when I walk in the door and I can be anywhere between the outskirts of Louisiana cooking a great cajun etouffee or in Paris whipping up a quick chocolate ganache. There is little distance between me and anyplace in the world in my kitchen.

I will sometimes take a short trip to hometown Minnesota and fry up a walleye (sorry, they have to be fried) or be across country and serve up some Maine live lobster. And just when you get tired of the road, you can make up some of your great local dishes to remind you why you live here in the first place.

One of the few places I have not been to is Asia and when I am cooking great Vietnamese food, I am there…even just for the duration of my meal. Cooking is my passport to the rest of the world and it's great because I don’t even have to pack my bags.

I can always picture what I find irresistible about a location by its food. Yes, recipes tie me to countries and bind me to cultures…some of whom I do not know but can unexpectedly appreciate because I have just tried a great curry or a simple Rag├╣ alla Bolognese.

I have discovered so many things about the world here inside my kitchen.

Bon Appetit!