And now, we return to food.
"What can you cook?"
I always think that's the most bizarre question, which I often get when I tell people I like to cook. What can I cook? Well, I daresay, I can make anything I want - it's just a matter of wanting to make it. For instance, when I was 12, I decided I needed to make puff pastry from scratch. I don't know if I'd be crazy enough (or just have enough time) to do it again, but I can do it. It's just the simple matter of following a recipe.
But what I like to make, that would probably be a better question. And I've come to realise that I really like meaty dishes that are generally braised, so that they can sit on the stove (or in the oven) for an hour or two, making the entire apartment fragrant with their yummy smells. Plus, this slow method of cooking results in a flavourful dish without adding too much extra fat. The champvallon I made earlier this year is still a favourite, although I haven't recapped it since - well, such heavy dishes are better when there's a bit of a nip in the air. But when I saw this recipe for lentils and sausages - well, my mouth watered, and even though it's been unseasonably warm (77 degrees when I left the house at 8:30am this morning!).
I used more onions than the recipe called for, since I do like braised onions. And instead of Toulouse sausages, I used some spicy linguiça (bought from a favourite meat place) to add a bit of an extra kick. If I were to make this again, I'd also add some mushrooms.
The results were scrumptious, reminding me a bit of coq au vin, but somehow meatier. And there was plenty leftover to take to school for a couple of days, which is always nice (there are only so many trips to the salad bar one can take).
My friends have been complaining about how warm it is, but I love it. This is one of the things that makes living in Los Angeles tolerable. If you want cold, go back to the East coast.