Monday, November 14, 2011

Comfort Food

I am not a Winter person, so the moment the sun begins to set earlier and rise later, and we fall back clockwise, I am nostalgic for summer and seek comfort anywhere I can find it. These days, based on my waistline, that seems to be in the way of food.

At the shore this summer, I cooked almost every meal and while I am not a fancy chef, I do like to think that I can make something tasty out of whatever is left in the frig. In any case, I am very poor at following recipes and have even given up on myself in this department. Yet, when I stumbled upon SweetFineDay the blog of Brooklyn-based designer Jenna and her pastry chef partner Mark of Whimsy and Spice, I found instant comfort and inspiration.

Well among other things, I was compelled to cook chicken pot pie for the girls which basically took me all day on Saturday because I had to shop for the ingredients (frig empty) and try to make do with what I had (no cream cheese, no chicken stock, turkey instead of chicken, no celery because it's the one food I hate and must be allergic to.) I managed to cobble together what resembled turkey pot pie and a mache salad with, of course, Henry's vinaigrette (I am the salad dressing protegée of my friend Pamela's husband, fabulous painter Henry Finkelstein, since we spent two recent weeks kibitzing and cooking together in Brooklyn.)

In Jenna's personal blog The Mixed Race Project I was touched by something she said. In essence, she said that she wanted to show in her photographs how people really live and not show a fantasy of how people pretend to live. I echo this thought. I have been feeling really exasperated and rebellious recently, as I tacitly though erratically follow blogs with tasteful feminine Pinterest mood boards and perfectly art directed and lit photos of carefully culled "objets." I am a bit sick of all the DIY makeovers and everyone being so damn crafty. I know I sound jaded, but really let's face it, not everyone has something interesting to say, something the world needs to hear. Even what I have have to say, is maybe not that interesting, really. My rebellious side wants to go in the opposite direction and like Jenna, I want to show people as they are with unmade beds and messy hair and imperfections. I wish we could all embrace our imperfections more and love real life instead of always trying to make real life look perfect. I think real life is far more interesting, far more touching. But that's me, and I have messy hair and an apartment that's crammed with packing supplies, a desk piled high with papers I dread filing, books I'll never read despite my good intentions, a "to do" list that makes me panic and a dog named Clementine that ate the remaining half of my carefully crafted turkey pot pie off the counter.

Isn't it more comforting to us all to know that we are in the same boat?


Laura said...

Carol- Your pot pie and salad look delicious. Such an inviting meal, now that the days are shorter and there is a chill in the air.
Thanks for representing the concept of "getting real". I also get bored with the perfect little life vignettes that are frequently represented in magazines and blogs.
As many of us, I too love a beautiful room and have a great respect for order. The reality is that life can get messy, and I totally agree with the idea of embracing those moments and moving on.

sallie said...

Wow it all looks fabulous! Will you post your vinagrette recipe?

Denise said...

yum, one of my faves... and I agree living a authentic life in whichever way we are, is the way to be. Hope that makes sense :)

KatieBGreen said...

I agree! I'm also getting a little sick of the many articles about "living your dream," or "escaping your divorce" by moving to Nepal, getting your own kitschy (and decorated with a theme) Airstream to randomly travel the country, or going on an archeological dig in Iran. With or without your children! Really.

I do like the whole wabi-sabi idea of using the things you have already and enjoying their usefulness and history.

Rhonda said...

I agree wholeheartedly - I don't say hubby, I don't pretend, I call 'em like I see 'em. Too many people live in a make believe world.

When others ask for a blog post of my studio, I cringe. It is always messy, crammed packed with supplies and not photo worthy. Puhleez...if your studio is not messy - you don't really create.

Whew, that felt good to say.

Tracy said...

I know!!! Why does everything have to be so cute and twee?!

hicham samar said...

People should drop the masks and be who they really are and stop pretending.