I think everyone can agree, there is something about coming home. No matter the age, coming home is so beautifully comforting. The smells, sights, and voices of the familiar put me at ease the moment I step foot inside my house.
What brought me home this weekend was my cousin, Curtis. Born only two months apart and raised in the same town, we have a relationship that is both cousin and close friend. He spent the summer in Quito, Ecuador, and was only going to be home for a few days before heading off to school in Chicago for the semester. Needless to say, I was dying to see him!
Perhaps another reason I love to come home has nothing to do with people, but more to do with cooking. Throwing my bags on my bed and heading straight to the kitchen is not unusual behavior for me. This weekend was no different. It wasn’t more than 30 minutes before I had a knife in my hand and a pot of water on the stove.
My mom is a notoriously honest critic about my food! Others may appease me with kind words; my mom, on the other hand, holds nothing back. I know I’ve gotten something right when she raves about it in the days following. This weekend that magical dish was a bowl of simplicity…. “me” cooking at it’s most basic.
Trying to use the fresh veggies given to us by our garden-inclined friends, I steamed green beans and lightly seasoned them with salt and pepper. While the beans were cooking, I browned some lean ground beef in a skillet with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, imparting a tangy sweetness to the meat. When it was browned, I added in a cup of cherry tomatoes and cooked them until the skins just began to pop. The final touch was a cup of sweet basil marinara sauce and a sprinkling of salt and parmesan cheese. Delish! The only thing that would have made it better would have been a chunk of crusty whole wheat bread to soak up the extra juice.
I wish I could elaborate a bit more, but right now I’m just trying to make it though Monday. Off to class once again.