I can't remember a time in my life, aside from a few bouts with depression long ago, when I was not enamored of food, just about every aspect of it. Cooking has long been my claim to fame, even though on a quite miniscule level. While there is much that I love about the way I cook and eat these days, I do miss a good deal of what I've left behind.
I miss coming home tired from work and starting yeast dough for a pizza that night. I've always made my own sauce, and it was ready and waiting in the freezer for the mood to strike. On several occasions, I made batch after batch of pizza dough from a recipe that had become muscle memory. They were certainly not perfectly round, and the toppings were a bit esoteric for some tastes, I'm sure---artichoke, eggplant, feta cheese, fresh tomato, jalapeno peppers, anchovies, fresh herbs from the garden as well as the expected and accepted. I will never forget some of the children in our family discussing my
pizzas. They all agreed they were the best they'd ever eaten. I loved
that. And I miss it.
Yesterday, I served a lasagne as part of a buffet lunch. It had to be gluten-free so that I could even handle preparing and cooking it. I had to ask GK and my daughter to taste the sauce as I made it. It was big and heavy with several kinds of cheese, a bit of eggplant still hanging on in our garden, thin slices of summer squash, spinach, and of course, the somewhat spicy homemade sauce. As it came out of the oven to oohs and aahs from a few nearby family members, I was almost simultaneously sad that I could not enjoy it myself and guilty that I was serving something I don't look upon as healthy to people I love. It's a weird one, like pouring another drink for a friend who's had too many.
So I'm giving myself a few days to reminisce about foods of days past. At the same time, I refuse to fall victim to my own mental ramblings. Right now, I have the rear half of an organically raised turkey browning in the oven before I put in in a crock pot to simmer a bit with some vegetables. I'll remove the meat when it's done and let the rest continue to simmer. It may not be pizza, but it's still playing with food. And at the end, I can serve it guiltlessly to my family and enjoy it myself.
I won't deny feeling a little deprived occasionally, not so much by what I can't eat as by what I can't cook, but I wouldn't change a thing at this point. Well, maybe I'd speed up my progress with some new cooking skills. I'd like for people to look forward to what I'm serving, and pizza is sure off the table.