Jan 21, 2005

I love to cook. We all know this. I love to cook so much, that whenever I'm feeling anxious, sad, depressed, irritated, annoyed, frustrated, angry, upset, or just generally antsy, I cook. Being in the kitchen, handling food, making up recipes...it relaxes me, gives me something to center on, calms me down. I love the kitchen, and I love my pots and pans and wooden spoons and gadgets and timers and my tiny blow torch. I have a deep love for fresh ingredients, homemade stocks and soups, time-intensive complicated recipes, aprons and potholders. And I love being a snob about the kitchen, snubbing microwaveable meals and canned soup. Hypocritically, because it is in my nature to be so, every now and then I fall in love with a time saver, even though I make fun of and criticize them constantly.

So here it goes, a short list of "cheats" I can't live without:
1. I love those no-boil lasagna noodles. No boiling! One less pot to clean! No slimy starchy noodles to handle!
2. I also love 5 minute jello. It's instant dessert! Add a little banana, whipped cream, toasted almonds, and it's gourmet.
3. And I love, love, love instant rice. I'm a little more ashamed about this one, but when I'm trying to get out of the house to get to work on time a little instant rice, chicken broth, and frozen peas make a great quickly prepared lunch.

As much as I hate to admit it...I love them all and they are staples in my kitchen. I will still slave over a stove for spaghetti sauce and chicken soup, and my instant rice will never replace the other three or four varieties I always keep on hand, but it will never be absent from my cabinet, either.

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