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It has been longer than usual since my last post. I wish I could say that was because I was on an exotic tropical vacation. I wish my excuse was a long visit from an old friend. I wish that an unexpected windfall had sent me reeling into a state of euphoria that left no time for blog posting. Alas, the truth is… there has been nothing interesting happening in my kitchen of late.

I usually can’t stand complaints about the weather in the midwest but even I am a bit rattled this winter. The repeated bundling, unending car scraping, an exhausting fear and tension of wiping out on the omnipresent ice and lack of sunshine have drained a bit of my spirit. Add a few additional mishaps (most recently losing my wallet), and I find myself turning repeatedly to the comfort of donuts. Multiple donuts. Three donuts yesterday did take the doldrums away…. temporarily… but then delivered a massive stomach ache. You see the ugly cycle…winter drearies, comfort foods leading to stomach aches and no grocery shopping have led to many quick pasta meals, bowls of cereal and take out food.

There have been a few attempts at new recipes but nothing overly successful. When other food bloggers have recipe disastors or foods that didn’t turn out perfectly, I love reading about them. Perhaps because it reminds me that a shadow is cast over all kitchens at one time or another. So, I share with you my humble attempt at Collard Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings, found in Gourmet a month or two ago. It was a real dog.

I really want to like collard greens. I live for grits, drool for a good Southern style BBQ, adore Red Velvet Cake and dream of the day the Waffle House restaurants move to the Chicago area. Adding collard greens to my list of favorites seemed like a natural. Well, it didn’t happen. I think it was a mixture of my not really having a knack for cooking greens along with a general dislike for them. Not wanting to waste good food, my husband and I tried to dive into the above, unappetizing looking bowl. He aborted the mission after one bite. Determined to like it, I took a number of tastes only to find my brow taught with concentration as I worked hard to swallow it down.

So, I dedicate this post to all of our recipe disastors, the weeks when the ideas aren’t flowing, the foods we just can’t bring ourselves to like and the temporary shadows that darken each kitchen now and then.

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9 Responses to “A Shadow is Cast…”

  1. ToKisstheCook Says:

    I feel you on the winter blues taking the interest out of the kitchen. I’ve been in frozen pesto pizza-land. And in lieu of donuts, I have gotten into the red velvet cupcakes at molly’s. It’s going to be a chubby spring.

    Additionally, I bet we could get a Waffle House here. And I would be in smothered & covered heaven.

  2. amanda Says:

    Winter totally sucks this year! Nothing but cloudy skies, stormy nights, and lots of general blah-ness. Normally I can stand it, but this year its worse. But that’s why comfort food was invented :) And my comfort food, instead of the donuts you enjoy, I go for some of my homemade choc chip cookies and some girl scout cookies that just came to my house today. Gotta support those troops, right?

  3. robin Says:

    I’ve been going through a bit of a slump lately too. I guess all kitchens get the blues.

    I first learned to love collard greens by putting (small) batches of them in huge pots of soup that also contained ham, bacon, potatoes, or anything else that I love. After you’ve eaten them tucked into soups, your love for them in dishes where they star will grow!

  4. Luisa Says:

    Oh, that stinks. I hate it when that happens. (I saw the same recipe, by the way, and was entranced by the word “dumpling”. Thanks for the warning.) I find these things go in cycles, though. Before you know it, you’ll be cooking up a storm again.

  5. Lisa Says:

    “the weeks when the ideas aren’t flowing”

    i liked how you phrased that, and i liked that you acknowledged that for us all.

  6. Cakespy Says:

    I like how you put it too–the weeks when ideas aren’t flowing. I have been trying to walk somewhere new every day in hopes that seeing new scenery will help. ;-)

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