17 February 2010

Ex-Mullet House Proud Patron

The year I turned 24, I became interested in cooking. Prior to that, "cooking" throughout college consisted of late night, post-party blueberry pancakes, variations on ramen noodles, or Hamburger Helper if we were feeling fancy.

We lived a block away from the
Waffle House (lovingly nicknamed the Mullet House), where they'd let us drink unlimited coffee for as many hours as we needed to study. Our record was nine hours. One of my proudest moments during this era was reading Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness in one sitting. That's a lot of coffee, folks.

After many of my cohorts moved out of Bloomington, I got my first apartment and started cooking. Going to the Waffle House alone is a path to self destruction of which I wanted no part.

So I cooked. Mainly, one salmon dish I could make decently over and over, until I couldn't eat it anymore, and then some new ones that I can't remember. Mom was called often, advice and cooking times were given, and some things were not meant to be eaten.

Dinner Schedule

Today, I consider myself a pretty good cook, but I enjoy following recipes. I'd rather trust the experts with their cultured palates and honed skills so that I don't end up with wasted food and half eaten experiments.

I go through phases where I totally dig cooking, or can't bear the thought of heating up soup. Though one thing remains constant, my seven year old love of cookware and kitchen aisle goods. That said, the
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer has been eclipsed by the glossiness that is Staub's 5 Qt. Round La Cocotte in Aubergine. The enamel glows. The rich warm-purple has a depth that has been in my head since I saw it in Smitten Kitchen in December.

24. Staub Coquette

Material things have been on our minds alot recently, especially since we registered for our wedding. There are so many things that I don't need. For us, it is a panini press or appliances that we may use once a year, and get irritated with it taking up space the other 364 days. I'm sick of replacing coffee makers and crappy knives. I'd rather take good care of the things that we do get.

I'm trying to be more conscious of buying things that we really like, won't get sick of, and that could possibly last a lifetime. What I love about good design is that you can enjoy something even when you're not using it, just by looking at it. Like this purple object that I obviously have a huge crush on.

I must go before I get a restraining order from Staub.

P.S. La Cocotte sounds much more sophisticated than Dutch Oven. As seen from my Mullet House references above, I believe I can use some more class, and less...


Mad Girl said...

Don't forget that you were quite a good baker early on. I had these delicious chicken and waffles yesterday and in an odd way I though of the Mullet House and all the wonderful locals that ate there. I think I have more than a few poems that i composed after a trip of Mullet House.

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

As I was telling everyone at the table at our Christmas pot-luck about baking the bread in a Dutch oven the age of everyone decreased about 20+ years...ewww you baked this in a Dutch oven?

Actually, Tom + I were talking about Waffle House the other day. As well as I eat, every now + then I get a mean craving for greasy hash browns.

Do you REALLY need the panini press? Really?

sulu-design said...

I had to comment here for so many reasons. First, you said Dutch oven. Second, I'm totally on-board with the idea of making some solid investments (for the kitchen and for other needs in general) so as to enjoy them for years, not have to replace them, let them get a nice patina, and feel like an adult about purchases. And you read Heart of Darkness at the Waffle House? Weird.

BAB said...

I too thought your dutch oven comment was funny - yeah, go figure, BAB -:). I remember so many weekends in high school going over your house and you and your mom baking some delicious goodies. Of course, while waiting, I raided the fridge and pantry...how much do you miss those days!

Jessica Nichols said...

I love *your* cocette.

Jessica Nichols said...

Err. Cocotte. Pardonnez-moi. ;)