Its cold outside. Not so cold that I'm all grumpy and achy, just to the point that I'm gonna need a hat soon, and I really want to cook and cook and cook. There are dishes that I can just about taste on the tip of my tongue as I imagine them.
Red and green bell peppers sauteing with habaneros, jalapenos, garlic and onions. A sprinkle of salt. A grind of pepper. More salt. A quick swish and drizzle around the pan with the olive oil. Cooking it down just till the hab's start to smoke and tickle your throat.
Arborio rice toasting in duck fat. Shyly adding a splash of black truffle oil and a pinch of white truffle salt just to get that wonderful aroma going.
That perfect cheesy smell of gougeres as they rise.
I love it. I love it all. I love cooking. I love that satisfaction of being able to make food that is just awesome. And there are certain things I just cannot wait to make - such as Fire Chili and Many Mushroom Rizotto and Gougeres with cheddar, bacon and leeks.
But, as with any love, there is always complication.
The biggest problem is that I find that my motivation and enthusiasm to cook things goes flat if no one but me is going to eat. Cooking for my parents is great; I get a lot of joy cooking for them, especially after they cooked for me most of my life. It was truly their gourmandise[new favorite word] that taught me to cook and brought out the foodie within me. And I've always loved cooking with friends. Whether it's Indian/pan-Asian food at William's house in Concord or homemade pasta with mushroom sauce at Emily's or making a giant pot of chili with the roommates and we'll all eat it over the course of weeks or even months. Or every now and then I'll make a big batch of hot wings. It certainly isn't limited to that, but it all has its limitations, because, while I thoroughly enjoy all that... they aren't really my target audience.
I want someone I can cook for. Someone to seduce with my culinary creations. Someone to get impatient and hungry when she smells the aromas wafting through the kitchen. Someone to watch as her eyes light up with excitement when I give her the first taste of a sauce in progress. Someone to convince to try flavors and foods foreign to her palate. Someone to be both muse to bring inspiration and goddess to present the divine sacrifice to. Someone to make soup for when she's sick. Someone to indulge me when I fully dork out about food.
Basically I need a date. Cooking, as fun as it is, isn't as fun without a beautiful girl to cook for.
Back in September there was a girl I was supposed to cook for [As you can tell I did not get that opportunity. Long story short I was led on and then blown off, which I must admit still kinda hurts and I hate that I let things like that get to me.] But just as a result of that excitement I was able to think up a rather fantastic meal that some girl, at some point, will get to fully enjoy.
I know that with someone to cook for; inspiration can be plentiful - enthusiasm can be boundless - and motivation can be strong. Until that point... I'll certainly have things that I will want to make... but without someone; my inspiration may run dry - my enthusiasm will certainly have short limits - and my motivation will undoubtedly waver.
What thrills the tongue and fills the stomach cannot alone satisfy the heart.