Archive: Kitchen Musings

Foodway to Our Hearts

It's a known fact that on a practical level, food is fuel for the body. It keeps the human engine and all of its interconnected parts running. However, if physiological maintenance and growth were the only roles food had to play, what would happen to our long lists of food preferences? Chile shrimp and rice. (Kim O'Donnel) The emotional pull of food is complicated, personal and undeniable. When we humans come in contact with food, the switches to our five physical senses are activated, which sets the stage for an experience of emotion. These experiences are duly noted in the memory bank, and more often than not we share them with others. I know this may seem elementary, but think about it. Everything you eat today likely rings some kind of emotional bell for you. Even more interesting to this cook is the noise of one's emotional food bells clanging...

By Kim ODonnel | September 15, 2006; 11:56 AM ET | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Do Your Wash Your Rice?

Soft Diet Salves and Assorted Kitchen Notes Despite my speedy typing, there's never enough time to answer all of the questions submitted in my weekly chat. Here's one left in the queue that needs immediate assistance. Washington, DC writes: I am on a "soft diet" after having oral surgery, and I am going to scream if I have to eat another bowl of soup, plate of mashed potatoes, or smoothie/milkshake. Any recipes/suggestions? Screaming is probably not a good idea after oral surgery, so let's nip that idea in the bud pronto. There are lots of options for food that goes down the hatch without the use of those recovering choppers....

By Kim ODonnel | September 13, 2006; 12:22 PM ET | Comments (40) | TrackBack (0)

Kitchen Perfect is Overrated

Close friends came for dinner last night, and the occasion was momentous. This thing called Life recently recently threw them some unexpected twists and turns, and I responded to the news with an impromptu offer of food and drink at casa O'Donnel. Ice cream is one of their favorites, so I knew a batch of the homemade stuff would be a welcome distraction and perhaps yield a few smiles. After much deliberation, I decided on flavoring the ice cream with peaches before they disappeared into the culinary sunset until next year. A little basil thrown into the heated cream and allowed to infuse would lend an additional late summer note, I thought. In spite of my lateness, the custard was moving along nicely and was setting up in the fridge for its churn in the machine. And then I goofed. No, I royally screwed up. With dinner nearly ready, one...

By Kim ODonnel | September 5, 2006; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

I Dream of Kitchen Genie

In this week's installment of What's Cooking, a reader from Allen, Texas, asked what my perfect kitchen would look like, a question that stimulated lots of discussion throughout the program. At first, it's easy to mindlessly jot down components of one's dream kitchen -- from floor tiles to ceiling pot hooks -- but I got to thinking: a cook's wish list essentially is a reflection of not only how he/she defines the word "kitchen" but how he/she perceives its role and significance relative to the rest of his living space. For some, the kitchen may be the brain of the house -- the operations center -- where wire, fire and production are at play. For others, it's the nervous system -- where one walks an emotional tightrope (Is my sauce emulsified or broken? Is my dough going to rise?). Or maybe, you regard the kitchen as the feet, providing foundation...

By Kim ODonnel | August 23, 2006; 09:35 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


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