It gets darker later and later, and I’m taking careful note of it all. Snow piles high on the cold cement, and it looks like much more of it remains in our future. Between salting the steps, spraying linens on beds, and writing about making a home, it feels as though I’ve had barely any time to cook.
For instance, last night around 9, I found myself slipping tomato and basil spaghetti noodles into my face, on my bed, from a glass container. Time pairs an illusion, in that it seems to be ample amounts of it. But in the keeping of simply keeping up, little remains left for home-cooked slower meals.
However, on the occasion of a Sunday snow day, there was time and a cookbook peppered with highlighted lines and sticky notes. I was craving the kind of care that was created on New Year’s Day when a pot of black-eyed peas was delivered on my stoop. I was craving the kind of comfort that is almost always delivered during long work-less vacations. The kind of craving made for making.
The beans flashed soaked, the tomatoes were skinned, and the garlic was minced. The onions made me teary, and the steam ballooned out of the kitchen. At times, slow cooking in this way is the least of things I’d like to do, because it remains a kind of art that (for lack of a better word) eats at wrinkled hands and that foot work of “free-time.” But consenting to the art, is also consenting to a type of care that we so desperately need right now. One, where there’s less-so of noise.
Edna’s recipe felt significant in my calm(er) hands. This month, especially. White beans and lentils (with cornbread, if you wish), is a savory February meal that you need to have in your arsenal. Light a candle, read about the late great Edna Lewis, and try it (as my neighbor did) with an egg, too.
What are you cooking lately?