I have been doing a lot of no cooking lately, and that’s a big challenge when you write a food blog. It all began a few months ago when my appetite deserted me, and that’s become my new normal. I have ideas about things to cook; I’ve been planning a post about making a deconstructed stuffed cabbage, based on my mom’s secret recipe, but I can’t imagine eating it, and I don’t want to cook something I have no interest in eating. True I’ve been baking scones (though none this past weekend) and I’ve made some soup recently, but nothing worth writing about. I’m still wondering if this is a dream come true or a nightmare.
To be clear, I do get hungry, I cook, and I eat, but nothing noteworthy or exciting; nothing new or interesting. I am uninspired. If I had the money I’d plan a trip to Italy or maybe San Francisco so I could take in new sites, see new food, and markets. I’d eat sardines and gelato and cheese, sausage and oysters. Even writing that list isn’t piquing my interest. It’s like listening to Gilbert Gottfried reading erotica, the content is there, but it’s not doing anything for me. Is this really the chef’s last diet?
When I first wrote about this in October these feelings were new, and I was sorting through them as I navigated my recovery. Recovery is an odd and non-linear state, most days I feel something that passes for normal, and other days I come home from work so exhausted I have a hasty meal and crawl into bed. It’s been about five months, and I have no idea if that’s a long time or not in terms of healing. On the surface (both literally and figuratively) I appear to be healing nicely, but deep inside where things are less visible sometimes I feel something, and others I don’t.
I feel the pressure of having to perform, of delivering tasty and tempting photos and recipes to your inbox, and I wander the aisles of the grocery store and all the things that once called to me are silent. Short ribs used to beg me to take them home, and do something wonderful with them, but as I have lost interest in them, they have lost interest in me.
Spring is beginning; the crocuses are starting to come up. March is my favorite month, and good changes are on the way (stay tuned). I am optimistic that Spring with it’s farmers’ markets, flowers, birthdays, and sunny days will awaken my dormant appetite and inspire me to get back to my quiet kitchen. Maybe I’ll try to cook things I’ve never cooked before like shad roe, fiddlehead ferns, and watercress soup. Soon it will be time to make matzo ball soup, and I’ll open all my windows and let the fresh Spring air blow through my house. Better things are ahead, and soon I’ll be complaining that I don’t have enough time to cook all the things I want, and my days of no cooking will be behind me. I’m certain of it!