This is the most unlikely hobby for me to ever have imagined I would one day pick up.
I love to cruise through cookbooks and dream about food.
Funny, but I've never, ever, ever found cookbooks the least bit interesting. I've always found cooking to be oppressively feminine. Not cooking per se, but women in general cooking and being expected to serve men food. And cheerfully doing it. Women of my generation! Most women I talk to about it didn't find cooking as oppressive as I did, and expressed that they'd far rather have a man around who cleans than who cooks, because they hated to clean.
I still was averse to cooking.
I then, as you know, developed the basic knowledge of cooking while Brent was away, because I was forced to. I even learned to like it a bit.
Since he's been back, we share the cooking about 50-50.
Since I've been pregnant, I've developed a LOVE AFFAIR with food. I dream about food. I sniff my plate in fancy restaurants, trying to sort out marinades and herbs. I snatch recipes from other people. But best of all, I love to read the cookbooks we have in our house, flipping through the magnificent pictures and dreaming about eating the food there. Then I make grocery lists, and then I shop (and while I'm in the grocery store my mouth waters and I'm already super excited about eating these dishes), and then I cook, and then the most rewarding step of all: I EAT!!! Vegetables, cheese, meat, salads, fancy breads, yum, yum, yum....I have currently in my fridge seven kinds of cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, soft goat, havarti, cream cheese, and parmesian. These I consider the basics. Fancy cheese like blue, gouda, etc, are purchased for specific recipes or cravings. Blue cheese on hamburgers is to die for.
I'm all about the fresh vegetables, too. Greek salad, cesar salad, roma tomatoes-cilantro-goat cheese-balsamic vinegar-EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, courtesy of Rachael Ray) salad, couscous salad, and my recently discovered pear and pecan salad. Here's the recipe:
1 head butter lettuce
2 heads radiccio
2-3 handfuls spinach
2 pears, diced
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted in oven on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes
3 generous Tbsp blue cheese dressing
TO DIE FOR, people. Could be slightly enhanced with a handful of dried cranberries.
I don't like salads in restaurants anymore. For the most part, I can do better. :-) That feels good to be able to say!!
Love fresh fruit. Can't put down mango, strawberries, pineapple, bananas, oranges, ruby red grapefruits, and my nightly frozen fruit smoothie.
The funny thing is, now that I enjoy food more, I weigh less. Eating is no longer a chore, so I pay far more attention to what goes in (and doesn't; no sugar or refined flours and VERY few potatoes), and to whether or not I'm full.
I guess technically I don't weigh less since I'm pregnant, but seriously most of my weight has been baby. I'm 19 lbs lighter than at this point in my last pregnancy, and I look good. My face is not fat. My fingers swell in the heat, but are not fat when it's cool. I think I eat less overall because I listen to my body and stop when it's full, because I love food and enjoy the experience of eating it. Isn't that funny?
Anyways, my new hobby is reading cookbooks. I no longer find cooking oppressive. My husband loves sharing the responsibility of cooking, rather than doing it all himself. And I love food.
This is a long, long road from the ballet dancer who vilified food and counterbalanced every intake with a cardiovascular output. Not an eating disorder, but a distorted view of food. I did not enjoy eating. I hated cooking.
Food is my friend! So is Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef. Naked food, naked men. What more could one ask for?