This weekend when my husband was away at a bachelor party, I kept finding myself in the kitchen. While I was watching basketball each night, I thought, well, I can just prep one more thing. I have a baby shower and an upcoming engagement party that I’m co-hosting but had plenty of time to plan for both. I didn’t need to prep, but I felt the pull of chopping, slicing and creating. It wasn’t just about the food – sure, I love the black bean salad I made and the pork carnitas that I’ll freeze for the party, but it was about the memories and the people that this food is honoring.
When I’m preparing meals, I’m doing so in the kitchen that my husband and I designed and built, using knives given to me by close friends, and putting love into each ingredient that I use to make dishes for special events in loved ones’ lives. This food is for big events – marriages and babies! I love thinking about these things and people while I cook. One of the things I most often say to my clients is that food is never just about food – it’s about feelings, it’s about where we’ve been and where we want to go and it’s about people.
This time, I leave you with ones of my favorite quotes (and then a recipe of course!).
“When I walk into my kitchen today, I am not alone. Whether we know it or not, none of us is. We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten. Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.” –Molly Wizenberg, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, 2009.
Churros (As you can tell from the recipes I’ve mentioned, I’m hosting a fiesta)
Makes ~4 servings
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. white sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Canola oil for frying
- White sugar and cinnamon for rolling churros
1. In small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar, salt and 1 Tbsp. canola oil. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Don’t overmix or they’ll become tough.
2. Allow dough to cool before putting into pastry bag with large star tip (I purchased mine at Kitchenworks in University Mall). Pipe ~4 inch strips onto parchment paper.
3. Heat oil in deep skillet until you insert a wooden spoon handle and bubbles form around it (I don’t use a thermometer, so this is how I tell that it’s hot enough). Place churros (my cast-iron pan allowed for 4 at a time) into oil and fry until golden brown.
4. Remove from oil, pat on paper towels and immediately roll in cinnamon sugar. Best when served fresh.
Kate Sayre is a Registered Dietitian who counsels clients through her private practice and at Duke University Student Health. On the 1st and 15th of every month, she guest blogs here.