Sunday, January 23, 2011

Project Cauliflower

I am a self-proclaimed project-seeker. I find ways to surround myself with neatly organized projects, goals, and agendas. Throughout the years, there have been a myriad of different projects that I have imposed upon myself. There have been the months that have been dedicated to creating new art everyday. There have been journals upon journals. There have been sketchbooks, started with grand intentions of being filled with life-changing art. And then there have been the cooking projects. Oh, the cooking projects.

It really doesn't behoove a personality such as mine to watch movies like "Julie and Julia." Largescale, incredible-sounding, yet completely-unrealistic-for-the-majority-of-people projects are dangled in front of one's gawking eyes, and it's all so terribly and dangerously enticing. Post-"Julie and Julia," the realistic part of my brain didn't allow me to tackle something as insane as the entire Julia Child cookbook. However, the overachiever in me was convincing enough to lead me toward some sort of entangling cooking goal. Thus began my journey through one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks. I wanted to try every recipe, hoping that a year would be enough time to accomplish my goal. A year passed, and while I had made good progress, I was far from trying even a quarter of the book's culinary creations. And, I was also pregnant. In my mind this meant that cooking would forever be banished from my realm of possibility once Baby arrived. So, I did what all good, overachieving, pregnant women do. I panicked. Lest I make an utter mockery of my goal, I tried to pick up my pace and get through more of the recipes while I still had some semblance of freedom left. I vividly remember a whirlwind evening (two days before I went into labor) of making veggie burgers. I have never chopped so many vegetables before in my life! It's a very good thing I got that recipe checked off the list, as I would never have time for such a feat these days.

Despite the fact that highly involved recipes may continue to elude me during my baby-raising years, I have discovered that my anxieties were unfounded. I can still cook now that I'm a Mama, even if it happens a little differently than it used to...namely in stages. Nevertheless, we are not living off of Ramen and canned ravioli as I had feared.
So, when Mandi and I decided to tackle our newest project, this cooking/art blog, I knew right where to go for recipe numero trusty vegetarian cookbook. I had yet to try any of the curries from that book, and I just happened to have a head of cauliflower in the fridge, so I proposed the Cauliflower Curry. Mandi agreed. We promised to each make the recipe within the week. There was now no turning back.

Luckily, my little guy gave me some amazing naps on Friday, so I had nearly two hours that morning to do all my prep work for the evening's meal. I happily washed and chopped cauliflower, diced onions, measured spices, and breathed deeply the aromatic wonder of cilantro. When that night rolled around, I cooked up the meal, and my husband and I enjoyed a remarkable curry. A side of rice and a little naan bread completed the picture, and it was nearly as delicious as a trip to our favorite Indian restaurant. Project Cauliflower was deemed a success. Let's hope that this blog follows a similar path. I have high hopes, my friends. High hopes.

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