“Cooking is love made visible”

Cooking

As defined by dictionary.com, is the art of preparing food. The art, not the act, not the practice… The art of preparing food.

I love that. It’s rather poetic, I think.

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Risotto, beef and goat cheese spread, bruschetta and grilled mushrooms.

A few weeks ago I shared that I went to see a therapist; I initially went to see her because I was struggling to adjust and cope with Lucas living far away. I was very afraid that being in different cities would cause us to become distant. In my very first appointment I talked a lot about how I was constantly reminding him how much I cared, loved and missed him. And while he always said it back, I didn’t feel as though he put as much effort into doing the same for me. My therapist, Angelika, immediately introduced me to the 5 love languages.

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Surf & Turf with garlic butter and a green salad.

The 5 Love Languages is a book by Gary Chapman. He says that there is no right way to express love and that each and every person expresses and experiences love differently. Chapman has broken down these ways of loving into 5 categories or love languages. Any given person may use one or all of the love languages at any given time but it’s very common to value 1 of the 5 languages above and beyond the others.

  1. Giving words of affirmation
  2. Spending quality time
  3. Giving/receiving gifts
  4. Acts of service
  5. Physical Touch

As I described above, I highly value the love language of giving words of affirmation. I feel that it is important to tell someone how you feel. Perhaps this comes from my literature background or my theatre background, who knows. All I know is that words have a lot of power and meaning for me, so when I tell someone that I love and care for them, I really mean it.

Lucas, on the other hand, values the love language of acts of service above the others. He feels that it is more important to do something for someone as a means of showing love than it is to simply say it. He is an actions speak louder than words kind of guy.

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Pork tenderloin, asparagus and mango salad.

In his book Chapman explains that it is pretty common for couples to use love different love languages to express how they feel. The issue arises when one or both parties don’t realize that they are speaking different languages. Since learning about the 5 love languages I am have had a much easier time experiencing and expressing love. And not just in a romantic way, towards my family and friends as well. I’m more in tune now to what they need. For example, cleaning the kitchen for my mum means so much more to her than just saying to her that she’s great, although she also appreciates a the words when they are said.

As for me and Lucas; I was feeling down because he wasn’t reciprocating my words of affirmation, ie. He wasn’t expressing love in the language I understand best. Instead he would provide acts of service, for example, cooking me a romantic meal. Being a chef, cooking is Lucas’ favourite way of expressing his love. When I visit him at school Lucas spends most of the day deciding what he’s going to make for dinner. In the afternoon we go shopping and in the evening he cooks! We listen to music, we drink wine, we chat about life and he cooks. I offer to help but he enjoys cooking for me because that is the best way he knows how to express love. And man oh man, do I love him for that.

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Charcuterie board.

“Cooking is love made visible”

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What I Ate Saturday: Descriptions of all the delicious food I ate this weekend.

This past weekend was spent in a food lovers paradise. I got to do all of the eating and none of the cooking! This resulted in a rather significant dent in my bank account as I had to pay for all of my delicious meals but sometimes a little indulgence is entirely necessary. Unfortunately I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a single picture of my food. Alas, you will have to rely on my words alone to get your foodie senses tingling. If you ever find yourself in London, Ontario check out these wonderful eats. Enjoy!

Saturday Morning Breakfast

What: Eggs, sunny side up with grain toast, home fries and an iced coffee.

From: Covent Garden Market, London, ON

The market is a city block filled with individual vendors, selling everything from fresh baked goods and locally grown produce to homemade jewelry and one of a kind art. On a Saturday morning it is bustling with people, young and old, bartering over the cost of berries, finding treasures among a sea of trinkets, sitting down to a classic breakfast made from scratch. Lucas and I wandered around, admiring the individuality of each vendor’s stand before deciding on one for our breakfast meal. The egg yolk was perfectly runny, the bacon was crispy and the toast was dripping with butter. Just the way I like it! I always save my home fries for the end. What better way to finish a meal than with salty, bite-sized, deep fried potatoes.

Market

Saturday Afternoon Lunch

What: Tuna Melt & Porchetta

From: Wich is Wich: A Proper Sandwich Shop, London, ON

Wich is Wich is a quaint and unassuming sandwich restaurant. Wooden tables and an assortment of chairs give the place a homey feel. We sat down for lunch late in the afternoon and had the place virtually to ourselves. The kitchen area is located right in the middle of the restaurant, easily view-able from the seating area. Lucas’ attention was absorbed fully by the chef, expertly preparing out meals. The pork for his sandwich was cut directly off a large hunk of meat that was clearly freshly cooked, then topped with arugula and a mustard seed vinaigrette. Lucas called it amazing. I had the tuna melt. It oozed with three different types of gooey cheeses and throughout there was a sweet and sour flavour from slices of green apple. Who knew something so simple could make a sandwich taste so complex and delicious!

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Saturday Night Dinner

What: Italian Inspired cuisine

From: Abruzzi, London, ON

Abruzzi is one of those small, independently owned restaurants that is modern and sleek. A different style of light hangs over every table and a large map of Italy hangs on the back wall. Our reservation was for 8:30 pm and the place was packed when we got there. Despite the crowed we were quickly seated. With a recommendation from the server we ordered an excellent bottle of smooth, full bodied red wine called Hepa from Tuscany. Knowing that it wasn’t going to be a cheap meal we decided to go all out. Starting with an Antipasti plate that consisted of 4 cheeses, 4 meats, almonds and olives. My favourite was a blue cheese cambozola, it literally melted in your mouth. For the main, I had the halibut over a pesto gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes and green beans. The fish was flaky and the flavours came together wonderfully. It had flavour without being over powering. Lucas had the duck breast over kale and veggie with four sweet potato ravioli. I only had a bite but the flavour was so rich in all the right ways. We finished our meals with desert. I had a warm creme brulee served with fresh berries, the pudding was so sweet and creamy with a hint of vanilla. Lucas had the tiramisu, which was topped in white chocolate shavings and served with ice cream. The whole meal was exquisite! From the atmosphere to the flavours, everything was divine.

abruzzi

My failed attempt at being a foodie

There are two types of people in this world: people who have a natural instinct for cooking and people who do not. Sadly, I am the second type of person. I can’t cook. No, that is an understatement. I cannot do anything in the kitchen at all, I am useless. If I’m being kind to myself I would say I make a pretty mean bowl of stove popped popcorn… But that basically sums up my cooking abilities.

Most of the time I don’t really care that I can’t cook. Lucas did some time in culinary school and he is super passionate about food, so I am fairly content to let him make me delicious eats. But every so often I feel a desire to be creative in the kitchen, this most often occurs when I am scrolling through pinterest or reading some of my favourite food blogs (because although I rarely make food, I love to look at it… that’s not totally weird right?!)

So yesterday I was reading a post from one of my favs, Eating Bird Food by Brittany Mullins. This girl is adorable and she comes up with some fantastic healthy recipes. Once I made a roasted broccoli quinoa from a recipe that she posted and it was actually so delicious! Turns out I’m not completely useless if I follow instructions. Anywhoo, Brittany recently posted a breakfast recipe for guacamole on toast with an egg and after reading it I just knew I had to try it! The guac recipe that Brittany posted called for frozen peas and some other fun things that I didn’t have at home so I decided to cut my losses and just make regular plain guacamole for my toast and egg.

The following is an accurate account of the internal dialogue I had with myself while cooking this morning:

Oh my gosh! I have 20 minutes before I need to leave the house! I have time to make breakfast today. I should make the guac on toast with an egg thing! Alright google, how do you make guacamole??

Mash an avocado. Easy, okay.

Sprinkle some salt, awesome I love salt.

1 table spoon of lime juice. oops… that’s more than 1 table spoon, whatever I’m sure its fine.

Minced onion. Well I hate onion and I have no idea what minced means so lets skip that…

Hot chiles, also minced. What is this mincing? Regardless, I don’t have hot chilies. Skip!

Cilantro. Disgusting. Skip!

Ground black peper. Finally, something I can add.

Tomatoes. Pulp and seeds removed and chopped… I like the pulp and seeds so I’ll keep that stuff in. Chop chop.

Wow that egg looks perfect, way to go alex. You rock, you kitchen goddess. Guac on toast, egg on top of that! mmmm here we go!

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You all know whats going to happen next. You read the title of this post. It was disgusting! Just horrid! Absolutely awful. Obviously my recipe variations did not translate into magnificent food, instead it was a slimy, bitter, salty mess. At this point I have 3 minutes to eat and get out the door, so I hastily scraped my guac into the garbage and ate my egg on plain toast. For the record the egg actually was perfect. Next time I promise to follow the recipe and I probably wont attempt to be creative in the kitchen at 7:00 am ever again.

Have you ever had a foodie failure? Share in the comments!