In Week Twenty-Three there were a lot of frustrating cooking experiences. I’m not sure why so many things went poorly, but there were a lot of disappointing moments. I always find it particularly frustrating when things don’t turn out the way I expect. Cooking from scratch takes a lot of time, not just in the kitchen, but also in the planning, the grocery shopping, the list making, the ingredient gathering. If after all of that effort the dish does not even turn out, the whole endeavor feels like a waste of time and resources. Of course, there are always lessons to be learned through failures, but they are not fun or easy. This week held a lot of those lessons, which left me tired of cooking.Read More
Week Twenty-Two the details of life fell back into place. Timm arrived home from Africa, the Valentine’s rush was behind us, and I caught my breath. I celebrated by knocking out thirty recipes and feeling pretty good about it.
I also posted a rant on Instagram about how much I hate red velvet cake (it’s saved in my highlights if you care to check it out), and proceeded to receive the highest level of follower engagement I’ve ever had. It turns out I’m not the only one with strong feelings about this cake flavor (or non-flavor, if you’re asking).
This was a good week.Read More
Week Twenty-One was Valentine’s Day week, and as it goes, the week I reaped the harvest of my emotional crisis from the week prior. When you take a break from everything, things pile up. Even though that break was much-needed, the deluge of tasks waiting for me was almost as brutal.Read More
Week Twenty was the week I wanted to quit. I knew it would hit at some point, and right on time, my desperation set in. I was flooded this week with unmet expectations, jealousy, disappointment, frustration, fatigue, aimlessness, and none of it felt good. It all hit hard and made for a rough week. I stopped posting on social media. I stopped writing. I barely made it through the cooking.Read More
Guess who had a birthday in Week Nineteen? The Barefoot Contessa, that’s who! Ina’s birthday is February 2, and I love pretending like we’re friends, and you know, her birthday is on my calendar because that’s what friends do. In reality, I looked it up at the beginning of the project because it seemed like the kind of date worth noting. Maybe my birthday is on her calendar too?Read More
In Week Eighteen I caught up on all the blog post writing! I know you can’t tell from reading this after the fact, but somewhere around Week Four, I started not being able to keep up with the cooking and the writing and the running of the business and the family and the holidays. So I started keeping notes, made a promise to myself to pick it up in January, and after Christmas came up with a very strict schedule to get it back on track. This week I completed the plan and am now positioned to return to writing these posts in real time. It has been a huge hurdle to churn out all of these posts after the fact, but I am committed to telling the story of this project as much as I am committed to actually cooking all of the recipes. Huge victory dance over here this week! Thank you for reading along.Read More
Week Seventeen was busy for me personally as my daughter Annie turned 16, then we celebrated my birthday the next day, and the we hosted a party for Annie for following day. Birthday week is always a lot, in the best way possible. I find is weeks like this, where the calendar is overflowing and emotions are running high, that having a plan ready and waiting for me is a source of direction and comfort. The work of figuring out what we are going to be eating along the way (because no matter what is going on, people still need to eat) is taken care of, and working the plan ministers to me in very tangible ways. Yes, cooking is quite a lot of work. But I find that trying to find ways to escape work (eating out, eating processed food, eating food that isn’t worth the effort) brings another kind of work or negative consequences. Preparing food, even simple food, with care and quality ingredients has yet to fail me.Read More
In Week Sixteen, I finally had success with ice cream! If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that my first go at ice cream failed miserably. As this week showed me, sometimes there are bad recipes. It takes getting a good one to be reminded that a good recipe is a required first step.
We fired up our Ina Lunches again this week after a break for the holiday. Everything from this week was stunning. There is not one thing on this list that I regretted making, and trying to choose what to summarize proved challenging for this post. If you have questions about anything on this list, I am so happy to tell you my experience and share what I learned.
The unexpected wow factor from this week was the Celery and Parmesan Salad. I think I have told everyone I know about this crazy good salad. I thought it would be terrible (celery salad? really?), but I find myself craving it. I love discovering new and excitingly unexpected winners in the flavor category!Read More