It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and after being away from our garden and kitchen for almost 10 days, we can say that we are very happy to be back. What happened? We were trapped in Canada…seriously. Flooding in the Canadian Rockies trapped us in Banff for a few days. We were on a very lovely tour with family (thanks again!) and one very big night of rain washed out the roads in all directions. Happily Banff is something of a gilded cage, but we still couldn’t cook. And we start to get a bit twitchy when we can’t cook.
It turns out that usually when we travel, we still cook- we have access to kitchens when we are in Long Island, Hawaii or even the Low Country (you could argue that access to good ingredients heavily influences our travel destinations). But on this trip we were out of luck, 10 days is the longest we have gone without cooking or baking in years (decades?). But when we can’t cook we read about cooking, so I pulled out “Cooked” by Michael Pollan and dove in.
Overall it is a good book, but since we grow our own food and cook it ourselves for family, many of Pollan’s insights weren’t surprising. But like most people, we love to listen to folks who agree with us, so it was a pleasant read 😉 . In “Cooked”, Pollan gets into barbecue, braising, baking and brewing/fermenting. We are active participants in the first three, and like drinking other people’s beer (mixing is our thing, but a good beer is always welcome here at the farm). But of all the cooking in the book, one thing stood out, Pollan was making his own dashi, and we weren’t. Shameful, and something we decided to fix immediately upon our return.