Simple pleasures of cooking

On Friday, my long awaited gas stove was finally installed. I’ve really been looking forward to this, as I had all but given up baking anything in my old oven, whose temperature was so unpredictable and so uneven that essentially nothing came out right. Along with the stove I have a nice new overhead vent with much brighter lights, so I can actually see what I’m cooking.

As soon as I knew it was working, I sat down with my recipe file to see what I might want to cook first :) Bread pudding with bourbon sauce came immediately to mind, as I’ve been definitely wanting to make that for some time now but absolutely knew this was the kind of recipe that would fail miserably in the old oven. Needing a more well-rounded shopping list, I added cauliflower gratin (since I have some that needs using), oatmeal dinner rolls (my first attempt at making yeast rolls), spring asparagus and goat cheese quiche, and herb-baked halibut. I ran off to the grocery store and happily bought all the ingredients, expecting to make them in the next week or so.

In the end though, it was a simple pasta salad, with leftover chicken, home-made walnut pesto, and cherry tomatoes that won out. Something just seemed right about having pasta be the first thing – the simple pleasure of turning that back burner on high and really heating that water up fast, followed by a flick of the wrist to instantly achieve the exact simmer temperature I wanted. For the first time since I moved in, my water didn’t boil over due to a burner that didn’t cool down fast enough. My salad came together in about 15 minutes… just as much time as it took the pasta to cook.

What a pleasure. And I can hear that bread pudding calling me…


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