Saturday, February 1, 2014


It is Sunday afternoon on a dreary winter's day. I move into the kitchen for some wind down and refresh time. The CBC is playing on the radio and the red wine has been poured. Let the chemistry for my soul begin.
I have a new recipe for Cauliflower soup I want to try. It calls for white truffle oil, which I don't have, but I did find a truffle infused olive oil, and that will have to do. It also calls for onions, which are taboo in this house as Sheldon does not eat them. So, I make the soup my own sans onion.
Garlic is lightly browned in the truffle oil as well as the cauliflower florets I've cut up. Then I add the hot vegetable broth and in the process get a bit of a burn from the steam, which makes me spill some in an effort to avoid injury. Better go easy on that wine. A chef needs to keep her wits about her! 
While that simmers away I start into a traditional family recipe of Gingerbread with a hot rum-butter sauce. This is one of my favourite winter desserts that my mother used to make for us. 
My parents are big on puttering in the kitchen and traditions.
The night before we celebrated Robbie Burns day with the classic haggis chased with a shot of whiskey. 
It's tradition, you see, and it's comfortable. 
But let's get back to the kitchen chemistry....
The cauliflower is all loosey-goosey and ready for the next stage. I  blend it to a smooth consistency, add a little cream and pepper and voila. The stuff is gorgeous.
"Sheldon", I say, "you have to try this". It is rich and buttery and all over yummy goodness.
"Eh, I'm not that big on cauliflower..." He gives it a little sniff.
WHAT?? I've been with this man nearly 30 years and this is news to me. Besides, this is good soup! I put it in front of him for supper but he really did not do it justice. Was keen on the chicken sandwiches though!
The gingerbread is baking in the oven, the sauce is ready and warm on the stove. The house is redolent with the scents of ginger and cinnamon. Hoot and holler all you want winter. You are staying outdoors and it is warm and tasty in here. 

I often want to share these traditional things. So, last night I invited a bunch of little girls over and made them snow taffy, another family recipe handed down and best prepared when there is an abundance of fresh, fluffy snow. 
The children all enjoyed themselves and it was lovely to listen to their giggles and squeals, something I really don't get in the house  at this stage of my life. 
Kitchen chemistry and traditions. Both of these and the act of preparing them soothe my soul. They are comfortable and familiar to me and a great way to stay balanced and de-stress. 
I know these may not work for everyone but I hope you have similar tactics to get you through the rough spots.

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