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Adventures in cooking

How it beginsI enjoy cooking, but I hardly ever participate in the activity. Except when I choose to spend  money on other hobbies and adventures instead of prepared food.

My favorite aspect of cooking is that all the measurements and ingredients are more suggestions than rules. I’m quite slap-dash about measuring, and am known for forgetting (rarely the important ones) or swapping out ingredients. The kitchen is always a disaster when I’m in it (but I’m very careful to clean it when I’m done), because I enjoy the whole process of making food.

So, since my grand plans for major adventures direct, I’m finally putting my How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook to use. And I’ll be taking pictures of what I make as I go.

And for those of you wondering, I’m an omnivore. But most of what I’m making is actually vegan, because cow’s milk and I get in in fights (and the cow’s milk always pwns me). And I’m not buying meat, because it’s expensive, and I’m only cooking for 1 person, which means the non-meat leftovers will last a smidge longer.So far all the recipes I’ve tried have been successful, including vegan cinnamon rolls (that I inadvertently added too much flour to, whoops!)!

This time of cooking is just another adventure to go with the all the others in my life right now. I’ll chronicle the best successes and the most phenomenal failures here, on flickr,  and on twitter, as long as I remember to take pictures of the food before I stuff my face or throw it out, whichever the end result deserves.

And if you have any recommendations for recipes or places to find them, please include them in the comments! The recipes and sites can be whatever you want to share related to food, as I’m never afraid to modify.

So here’s to cooking adventures and the ensuing deliciousness!

House secrets

old farm gear in front of house
Frequently I find myself caring for the house of another while they are off on adventures far away. Sometimes I merely visit their house to affirm that it has not been abandoned to the elements, assuring that the owner will come back to care for the house. Sometimes I masquerade as the resident, filling food bowls, washing dishes, sleeping in beds, all to keep the appearance for others that the party has not died, and there really is nothing to see in this boring house.
But no matter how much contact I have with the houses in my care, they all whisper secrets.

Houses, when their true owners are away, reveal the casual secrets everyone entrusts to their home. Whether it’s the bedroom curtains telling how dark the owners need the room in order to sleep, or the hidden corners revealing the frequency of hands-and-knee scrubbing, the house shares these secrets while the owners gallivant across the country.

Some secrets reveal more of the heart of the owners, and those are the secrets that astound me. We work so hard to keep secrets from each other, but our houses give our secrets away so easily when we let others in. To be entrusted with a secret intentionally is an honor; to obtain the secret inadvertently is disconcerting.

These secrets are not life-altering, you-killed-the-next-door-neighbor types of secrets; they are everyday, casual kind of secrets. They are secrets that you don’t realize you want kept secret until other people know about them. Most of the time, when other people are in your house, so are you, and your presence keeps the house from highlighting the secrets lying around. Letting another person into your house without your presence keeping the house silent opens the door for potentially unintended connections.

Watching someone else’s house, or entrusting your house to another, can reveal reality in a different light. And that can be a very helpful insight into your quirks and oddities. Much like David Sedaris’ “Nuit of the Living Dead”, the experience of trading house secrets allows you to see through another’s eyes in a way that is difficult to achieve through other methods. If you ever get the chance, take it and be open to the view from a different seat.

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