I usually end up making something on Sunday afternoons. It’s become a bit of a habit at this point. I had already planned to make a bunch of rice and oatmeal this weekend, so I could have it later on in the week, but this afternoon I found myself wandering through the Logan Square Farmers Market just as it was shutting down, and I bought a bag of apples and a big butternut squash (how is it time for butternut squash already?? Too soon! but I bought it anyway). I took them home, chopped both of them up, added some shallots and sliced garlic, coated it lightly with olive oil, sprinkled it with some spices and put it all in a 400 degree oven until it was ready. I’m going to put it on salads later this week, with some blue cheese, and it will be very tasty.
Since I have a full time job, and I freelance, and I do this comic, and some other comics projects, sometimes it can feel like I’m running nonstop. You’d think I would feel I don’t have time for things like cooking – especially when it could be so easy to grab something on the way home, or snack on something in the fridge. And especially when we’re talking about something as time consuming as skinning a large winter squash and chopping it up into small cubes. But preparing food feels so relaxing to me, especially if it takes a long time. It’s a quiet, meditative process that takes more manual effort than it does brainpower, which feels like a pleasant break from the norm for me.
Half the time that I decide to make something, I’m not even hungry by the time I’m done, and I end up putting it in the fridge for later. I always think it’s kind of funny when I just want to cook something, but not eat it.
ALSO: Laura Park suggested I try some new crop rice, and I found some last week at the Korean market on Kimball. It’s… it’s hard to describe. The smell of it uncooked is almost alive, it’s potent and yeasty and smells young, somehow. When it’s cooked, the texture is amazing – it’s smoother and creamier than normal rice, almost like it’s closer to grits or tapioca or something. It’s amazing. You wouldn’t think there’d be that much difference! But if you can find it, I recommend trying it out. It seems less important for something like sushi, where you’re letting the rice cool, but a hot, fresh bowl of new crop rice is magically comforting.