Friday, July 26, 2013

Peach Cobbler

I've found myself in the kitchen quite a bit lately. One of the things I never realized is just how much life revolves around meals and eating. In college cooking dinner consisted of boiling noodles and pouring jar spaghetti sauce over the top. I just never had the urge or desire to spend lots of time in the kitchen preparing delicious tasty meals. Which is why it was always such a treat going home for breaks because my mom would spoil us with our favorite meals.
Then when I started dating Brandon, it didn't take me long to figure out that they key to his heart is actually through his stomach. I began cooking more substantial meals when I would visit him during the weekends. I know the type of food and quality that is typically served to ballplayers and just felt that I wanted to cook him something that would actually fill his belly. I also knew that he was away from home cooking for eight months and some home cooked meals would hit the spot.
Now we are married and isolated in a foreign country that has even more limited food options and so my skills as a cook in the last five months have far succeeded what I thought I was capable of. The first meal I cooked in this apartment was hamburgers and a box of Kraft macaroni. Not my proudest moment but we didn't go hungry and at that point I imagined we would have lots of burgers and lots of macaroni. We ate them on bread with ketchup and that was that. Fast forward a few months I made burgers again but with homemade macaroni, lettuce, tomato, and bacon to top the burgers and we had them on buns. I remember thinking, 'wow I've come a decent way in the cooking department.' It wasn't a huge accomplishment but what I realized is just how much more comfortable I've become in our new surroundings. Little victories.
Even more so in the last month, Brandon often makes comments like the following, "You know what sounds good? That mozzarella cheese dip you make. Do you think you could make that?" My first instinct is to say no way, I will never find all the ingredients I need but for some reason I don't have the heart to say no. I understand what he is going through as far as wanting certain things from home to eat or snack on. So I make the efforts and attempt to fill those requests with a positive outcome more often than not.
Thus began the real advancement of my cooking abilities. Dip turned into potato salad, which turned into his Mema's chicken and dumplings, which turned into me wanting a peach cobbler. I don't know where the notion came from in my head that I couldn't make any of the above but it was there. I'm happy to say that it has since been removed and I now feel like I could attempt to make just about whatever Brandon's requests. Other things I've cooked include chicken fried chicken, a cheesecake, meatballs, curry and rice, beef bowls, cinnamon rolls(fail), biscuits(semi-fail), lemon garlic tilapia, vegetable soup, stuffed chicken, and chicken and noodle soup. I will admit that some evenings the last thing I want to do is cook dinner, or maybe it's getting the groceries, but the satisfaction I feel after making something delicious and seeing Brandon dig in for seconds or thirds far exceeds the workload.
I've taken for granted the amazing cooks in my life and this year has made me appreciate their talent and gift so much more. I can't count the number of times I wished I could pick up the phone and called to ask how to make a certain dish. Maybe it's knowing I have my own child on the way and that I want to be able to always provide delicious meals. It could be just the simple fact of knowing that if I don't cook, our options for meals here are extremely limited. Either way it has sparked a passion for cooking and learning how to cook some of Brandon's favorites and some of my own.
With all that being said, summer is not summer for me without a peach cobbler. Usually I just have to sweetly ask my mom and wam-bam-thank-you-ma'am a peach cobbler is served.  However not this year. After a long discussion via facetime with some secret tricks and tips I slapped on my apron and gave it a whirl. Ok there was no apron but what's a little flour on your shorts going to hurt?  So I now present to you the makings of my very first ever peach cobbler. I know I have one proud grandma in Heaven.
If you are wondering if it tastes as good as it looks then I will lie to you out of the sheer kindness of my heart that it was awful. No good. Not making it again, until Brandon gets back on Monday. This one I plan to dish out to some of the gracious friends I've made here. Ones that borrowed me the sugar and the glass dish for which this delicious treat wouldn't be possible otherwise. And probably to anyone else who knocks on the door between now and when it disappears.
Cooking and baking has also helped fill a small void that I've had to create. I truly miss sewing and crafting, and even writing here regularly. But again a passion has been ignited for me lately and I hope to continue to share these things with you, just from the kitchen instead of in front of my sewing machine, at least for now.
As always, thank you for letting us share pieces of our life with you! It means show much to be able to not only experience this adventure but to share with everyone back home just how much God is richly blessing our lives and helping us grow in areas that are lacking. Amen for that.
Cheat tips:
Slice peaches into dish. Immediately add lemon juice over peaches.
Add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract with step two.
Eat with vanilla ice-cream.

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