Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gourmet Living!

Yesterday afternoon I headed back to the grocery store, once again in search of ingredients not typically sitting around my kitchen. This time it was a turkey breast, shallots, heavy cream, fresh parsley and spinach. These new purchases combined with what I had on hand - fresh garlic, mustard, olive oil, mushrooms, baby carrots, white rice, a few wedges of lemon and ground sea-salt.

I prepared a cup of fresh turkey broth ahead of time, chopped and measured the various elements, heated the olive oil in a large frying pan, cut the turkey into half-inch strips, and quickly cooked the cutlets before creating the most amazing reduction sauce - adding the heavy cream in the final stages.

The rice, carrots and mushrooms were fairly easy to prepare, but the last ten-minutes before I served amounted to one frenetic flurry of activity. It will probably be easier once I get used to these new recipes, but for now I have the cookbook open and I'm leaving nothing to chance!

At one point, while flash-cooking the spinach leaves in olive-oil and sauteed garlic, I had all five units glowing and the oven heating up bread.

Okay, so why all this cooking detail in today's blog post? Well, apart from making you hungry, this story amounts to another chapter in this week's ongoing theme of "Living as if we mean it."

It's not enough for me to just say I love Rebekah enough to go the extra mile in our relationship... it means following through with 100% conviction when I promise a new recipe each week for 2010. This week (the third recipe in the series) we sat down together Wednesday evening and she picked page 101 from the "Cooking New American" text. No coaching from me, no "Well I'm not sure that's one I can handle" - just one more opportunity to give.

And, yes, that's Peet's Coffee I'm grinding to serve after dinner. I'm telling you - I don't mess around!

Likewise it's not enough to say, "2010 is going to be defined by improvements in my life..." It means sitting down with the book (the Good Book, that is) and making regular plans and adjustments.

With my cooking I made the commitment for one "push the envelope" experiment per week; it's about being faithful to follow through and that means constant planning and reevaluation.

It's the same spiritually, relationally, or any other area where we're interested in making progress. We don't carry such significant commitments through from one big push January 1, followed by 52 weeks of coasting. It turns out there are 365 opportunities during the year to make adjustments, ask for help, review the instructions, and do whatever it takes.

Gourmet cooking is fun - hard work but fun. But it's only a small part; I'm shooting for a gourmet life!

No comments: