I’ve always been a big eater, but over the past couple of months I’ve become obsessed with food. For the first time in my life, I have my own kitchen, as well as the responsibility of keeping two people reasonably well-fed. My daily routine go straight from work to one of several purveyors (Nica’s Market? Hong Kong Grocery? Or, god forbid, Shaw’s?) and immediately start cooking when I get home. It’s gotten to the point where I lie awake at night mulling over the next day’s menu in my head, wondering how long that giant bunch of basil in the refrigerator will keep, formulating the exact process by which I will prepare polenta, deciding what I’ll throw into my next batch of aïoli (maybe that basil?). I read cookbooks in my free time, even watched straight through the second season of Top Chef, and no, I can’t believe that hack Marcel made it to the final round. (You know what would be really great, though? Top Composer. Think about it.)
I have similar values in the food I cook as in the music I write. I like simplicity. One of the best food I’ve ever had is blue crabs, steamed in their shells with plenty of red pepper and Old Bay (I was reminded of this while visiting my Grandparents last week). Crabs really speak for themselves. Similarly, I don’t like to gussy up my music with a lot of surface sheen or virtuosic frippery. If the materials can’t stand up by themselves, I don’t use them.
This is not to say that a dish, or a piece, has to be totally conceptually integrated. Most of the time, I make it up as I go along. Most of my effort is expended trying to make disparate ingredients work well together, to complement each other. Sometimes the unexpected juxtaposition of two elements is enough to justify the whole, though not always.
I’ve been chronicling my cooking/eating experiences on my Flickr page. Feel free to stop by and leave a comment, or better yet, a recipe.