For a little over four months, the kitchen has been a "No Go Zone", unless I'm making toast or coffee.
It's been a little hard on my husband (although he loves to cook), as he has been mainly responsible for preparing dinner.
I do love to cook. But it's also an activity that I associate with wine. As I chopped, chopped, chopped, I loved to sip, sip, sip. When the recipe called for wine (and it often did, because there was an iron clad excuse to open a bottle of wine), I would use the bare minimum, and finish one bottle myself, fussing around the kitchen.....and then of course, I would need the second when we got around to eating.
Sounds sophisticated doesn't it? Sounds "normal".......Julia Child used to slurp away on TV.....why on earth would there be anything wrong with coupling fabulous food with a perfectly paired bottle of vino?
Here's what usually happened. Distracted and decidedly fuzzy from the wine drinking (which was, of course the main activity), I would omit an ingredient, forget the time, dinner would be burned, risottos would be a sludgy mess......the whole experience would resemble an edition of Hell's Kitchen.
My long suffering husband would gag down the meal, (diplomatically murmuring all the right platitudes....by this time, I was one bottle of wine in - so a wrong comment could be potentially explosive), and then he would deal with the mess in the kitchen (because I cooked, right?)
I know that the romantic memory of creating in the kitchen is just constructed in my mind - with a little help from the Wine Witch. I can (and do) relive the actual events.
But cooking is still a Major Block.
Last year, one of my only 'achievements" was to publish a short seafood cookbook. That too, wasn't my best work, and although I sold quite a few copies, and had some nice compliments - I still associate that cookbook with my wine soaked kitchen endeavours.
Last week, for the first time in ages I watched Anthony Bourdain (one of my favourite foodie shows). I got a little inspiration, and coupled with some produce from my garden (new sober activity), tonight I tried a stuffed pumpkin recipe.
It's in the oven as I type.
I poured a chilled AF beer as I worked around the kitchen. I tasted the food as I cooked, and adjusted seasoning. I actually wrote down what I was doing. The kitchen is clean. The table is set.
Maybe it's time to just get over it.
I'll let you know after the Stuffed Pumpkin :)