Cooking Up a Truly Homemade Feast - Fatcake Style


God bless kitchens - it's like every day's a cookbook!

Cooking food with me and my gals is like going to war and back - with a full belly onhand.  There is no solid plan.  Just loose...and very vague ideas, that usually come together at the very last minute on a rare day off. 

What's in the fridge, what can I throw together, while half sauced.  Cause you know the sauce is on the make come high noon.  That's usually the first craving.  A good, goes-down-easy cocktail of some sort.   Or perhaps some very hyper-chilled sparkling something or other.  Maybe half frozen sake.  Lately it's been mega mixology drinks with made up names (stand by for "A Goat Named Minka" - a drink so damn good, that has me slinging back hard whiskey - and I'm not, I repeat not into the browns).

Usually a pop into someones room - rounding up a few folks who might be spending the day not slugging it to the city.  A competitive game or two is usually involved and whoever has hands and wants to help can jump in the kitchen.  Nobody really knows what's happening - it's like a tornado blazing through.  A white squall of activity around the kitchen island.  I love to cook this way.

Drinks being mixed, pans being dirtied with all the sauces and mix-ups, funky homemade dips being dunked into, laughs being had, half convos attempted.  It's easy to get distracted by the need to dump more white wine into the risotto.  Holy crap, hand-slapped, wine bottle rolled noodles to go with the beef dish - why not whip some up with a ton of butter?   The rich just-made pesto, caramelized roasted tomatoes with garlic and mixed goat cheeses skulking on top of little toasts goes really fast. 

I'm usually braising some kind of vegetable in the oven for hours and hours during the workday, so I have a fridge full of them on the wait - just chillin' out, waiting to be the inspiration for something downright delicious.  They're easy to sling onto a cracker, into the wok risotto, or eat just straight off a knife.   Wine and olive oil turn anything into something creamy and slatherable.

And, when it's over, it's beyond over.  Dishes cleaned, games tucked away, leftovers dolled out, dessert shoved down.  Everyone quickly disappearing into their own little private domain that is their corporate housing apartment.  Little waves goodbye and hasta mananas all the way around.