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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

Tag Archives: Comfort Food

I should have known better than to plan a complicated(ish) meal like gazpacho and quesadillas on shopping day. That made no sense. Cooked the meatloaf and string beans instead. Also was critique night in which the thing I worked so hard on and is still so flawed was going to have its flaws discussed. Thus, the comfort food.

When I started school I told myself to make big mistakes. The kind that comes from taking big risks. Its so much easier to say that than to do that. When I handed the work in last Friday I felt so discouraged; but by Tuesday I was ready to hear what people had to say. Also much easier said than done. I still find it very difficult to translate critiques into forward motion. I think the critique confirmed what the strengths and the weaknesses of the piece were and I have a very crumpled idea of how to map out my next step but it is really, really difficult to get myself into the car. I wish getting critiqued was like filling an empty tank with gas, but it’s not. It’s more like taking your beloved old car to the shop to have the starter fixed and discovering the transmission is bad too. You fix it cause you need the car, but you really hate to do it and find yourself questioning if the damn car is really worth it in the first place.


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I used to be really daunted by this chilaquiles recipe – so many steps & bowls & ingredients halved and mixed with other ingredients. But now that I’m thinking about cooking differently – trying to understand technique – I was able to simplify it for myself. The recipe is by Grace Parisi from Food & Wine. I cut out the sour cream & the scallion from the original recipe and added an onion. I do not cook the sauce as she does and I use more chips. I rewrote the recipe, breaking it down into sections that help me understand the process and thereby feel like less of a slave to the directions. The changes have made it quicker and less stressful to prepare and somehow I’ve convinced my daughter, the last hold out, of its merit. For me this is true comfort food. Basically warm, flavorful mush. My son calls it the soggy chip thing which is just about right.

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