Dog Days of Summer

We’re more than half way through summer, and with a broken stove and the summer heat, I’ve actually cooked less in the last 2 months (even WITH company) than I have in years. Actually, the last time I cooked this infrequently was when I was single and an at-home meal consisted of an artichoke. If I was feeling sassy, crackers and cheese with wine or if I was too exhausted to do either of those things: a bag of popcorn. I would eat these desperate and sad meals with the blinds closed, huddled into a corner on the couch. True, my cooking aspirations were slow to develop.

During those years when my anemic home meals kept me fueled but not satiated, I rarely had the energy or desire to find any creative outlet besides work.  Since then, though, I’ve found that my emotions manifest themselves in my cooking and typically, unless the mood is particularly foul, we are all pleased the results.

Recently though, the cooking sabbatical has been a relief. This is surprising to me. Because no cooking leaves me bereft of inspiration.  I’ve said before that I became a cook only because I love to eat. But, I grew to love the process of cooking, embrace the creative outlet and the satisfaction of a beautiful meal, despite the fact that the initial motivation was good food.

Perhaps my lack of motivation is due to the fact that time hasn’t permitted a Farmer’s Market visit in well over 3 weeks. I mean even great artists need a muse. The Farmer’s Market is my muse. And I no great artist.  The bustle and activity along with the bight colors of the Farmer’s Markets are my creative catalyst and after wards I am ready to hit the cutting board, oven and pots and pans. Ok, I might still find a way to leave the oven off.

So this week, I am actually adding the Farmer’s Market to the calendar. I mean, despite my mantra: “if dinner’s “out” then I am “in”!” I need to return to the table..that’s in my house. No matter what the dog day’s of summer are barking about.

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About Tara DeWitt Coomans

An aspiring cook and an accomplished eater, Tara is inspired by the world around her and the food on her plate. "When you can't jump on a plane and take a vacation to an exotic destination, chances are you can whip up a dish or go to a restaurant that will take you there." says Tara. She often eats out at a restaurant after trying to accomplish a given dish at home. None the less, she enjoys food and what it says about the human experience. Tara is a full-time freelance writer and blogger. She specializes in writing about food, cooking and travel. You can find her in the kitchen, on the plane or at her computer.