Wednesday, March 19, 2008

VeggieTales: Three More Days

I got out of the habit of blogging my vegetarian Lent experiences while my laptop was in the shop, but we've been sticking with it, mostly. I've cheated a few times, often involving bacon. (Oh, bacon, how I love you!)

As Lent wore on, I got less creative and experimental. After having a couple of experiments go wrong, my instincts turned conservative. Why slave over the stove for an hour with a recipe that might turn out bland or outright awful when I know I can throw together pasta with a tasty quick homemade tomato sauce or bake a few potatoes and serve them alongside a salad?

With recipes that turned out terrible, I tend to assume the problem is me, and if I like the idea of the dish enough, I might even try again. I'm not an expert or naturally gifted cook, and sometimes it takes me a few tries to get the hang of a cooking technique. But when food is bland or boring, I blame the recipe. And I want the results of cooking to match the time and effort I put into it, somehow. If I spend an hour and a half chopping and sauteeing and stirring, I want that dish to taste an hour and a half better than the baked potato I threw in the oven and walked away from for that same time period or the grilled cheese I threw on the Foreman and had ready in ten minutes. And usually it doesn't. Often it tastes worse.

Maybe I just wasn't meant to be much of a cook...

Anyway, I'll be glad to add meat back to my menu on Sunday. I think my husband is going to cook a ham. Mmm, ham. Nom nom nom. And my grilled cheeses and pasta sauces will taste much better with prosciutto back on them.

I'm glad we tried this. If nothing else, it reminded me of the pleasures of a simple baked potato and taught me how easy and quick quesadillas are. But those potatoes will taste even better sharing a plate with a steak, and a bit of shredded chicken or pork will perfect the quesadillas.

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