Thursday, February 4, 2010

Instant Lift

I have been a bit down in the dumps lately. At such times work becomes an uphill struggle and friendships become strained as the stories become stale after the third telling. It is difficult to think anything is worth it, let alone cooking for oneself, especially as the appetite is suppressed and one ceases to eat for all the wrong reasons. I am still a bit worried how quickly one loses weight when one is under real stress.

Today, still dumpy, I noticed half a dozen uncooked shrimp in the freezer, so I threw a saucepan on a burner to bring some shallow water to a boil. I took spinach out of its bag in the fridge, all crisp and fresh, rinsed it, then toweled it dry. 1 minute. I cracked an egg yolk into a metal bowl and whisked a little mustard, sweet white vinegar and sea salt into it until it took up some airy volume adding a dribble of oil and whisked it in and again and again adding more in a burst each time. I was keeping an eye on the water while whisking and when it came to a gentle boil after four minutes I salted the water and dropped in the shrimps and ignored them to finish the mayonnaise which was already taking up more volume. Three more minutes and the mayonnaise was finished and I turned to the shrimp which were nearly cooked. Time to finish the sauce. I was having a craving for Marie Rose Sauce, which perfectly complements spinach and, down right shouts "hello!" to shrimp. I mixed a tablespoon of tomato ketchup with the same amount of horseradish, a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt, a small dash of Tabasco sauce and mixed it together in a little bowl adding after three tablespoons of the fresh mayonnaise until completely combined. I poured cold water into the shrimp saucepan and drained them quickly and left them lukewarm. Shrimp with spinach and Marie Rose sauce made in about 12 minutes. I felt real good for having made a speedy and most enjoyable lunch. This paragraph has taken longer to write than it took me to make and eat the dish even though I slowly savored every bite.

A friend of mine has told me that I've put all my passion into cooking over the last year or so to make myself feel better and I agree I think I have to some degree. You have to eat, you get instant results from the cooking and a sense of complete satisfaction. You also get better at it the more you do it. I just don't understand why everyone doesn't cook every day since it is an amazing salve and a lot less work than you think, especially if you have a dish washer, and, I do not.