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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: Fear

Tonight was my second surprise meal – the one not pre-planned but inspired by ingredients at the store. This time I was wooed by a display of yellow plum tomatoes and some shiny poblano peppers.

I decided to cook a made-up version of chile rellenos, sans-frying, and use the tomatoes for a fresh salsa. Here’s how it went down: I made a pot of rice and pot of black beans. I sliced the peppers in half, seeded them, and broiled them six minutes to a side. Then I stuffed the halves with rice, jack cheese and corn and broiled them again to melt the cheese. I chopped the yellow tomatoes and added red cherry tomatoes, red onion, scallion, cilantro, olive oil, lime, salt, pepper, cumin and green tabasco. The sauce was already made, bless my husband, and frozen from long ago. I’ll have to get him to make another batch for the freezer because it’s definitely a meal we want again.

If altering the routine of the meal plan is going to continue to be this enjoyable I’m going to have to reconsider my instinctive and habitual fear of change.

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Last night I accidentally cooked Zatar Chicken Kebabs for a vegetarian, but luckily, I served it with greek salad so she did not go home hungry.

My salad eating friend was kind enough to trade food for babysitting and my husband and I went to the movies –  a documentary about Gerhardt Richter. I was curious to see the famous painter at work – something told me there would be a lesson for a writer in it. I was not disappointed.

Richter makes his paintings in stages. Working on two huge canvases at once he first uses a brush to cover them with large swaths of color. Then, the seventy-nine year old gentleman takes a squeegee as tall as he is and covers his creation from top to bottom, burying most of what lies underneath. He does this over and over, changing colors, changing directions, changing his pace, his angle, using his full body weight to obliterate and create, obliterate and create over and over again. It was like watching somebody dance a painting into existence.

Richter had the confidence to let each layer disappear, knowing it could never be recreated. Destruction is part of creation. Change an trust are essential components of art making. I will tack the postcard of his giant white canvas above my desk to remind myself not to be afraid to attack what I’ve already created until it can get no better.

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