Weak End


Friday night, we ordered in. Saturday we skipped the farmers’ market, grabbed a bite at Farmstead, and spent a semi-relaxing day at home with the cats. Mike roasted a chicken, and I burned the Brussels sprouts.

Sunday morning, I broke not one but two yolks while attempting to make eggs for our breakfast. I burned the toast. I made a quart of beef stock, three quarts of chicken stock, and a batch of fresh pasta (none of which I ruined, thankfully), then I stood at the stove with a Blood and Sand in hand, frying batch after batch of hand-cut frites to go with our Valentine’s steak au poivre (which I neglected to take a photo of).

creamy leek soup

I also made this soup. It was one of the weekend’s more successful endeavors.


I’m home due to the holiday, Mike’s up at Cook & Brown, and I had really hoped to tackle at least one big cooking project while putting together some training materials for work today, but my heart’s just not in it. Maybe it’s the winter doldrums settling in, or the fact that I tend to freeze up in the face of change and uncertainty (which we’ve got plenty of these days), but I’m feeling overwhelmed and uninspired. I’m not sure how to get my kitchen mojo back.

20 thoughts on “Weak End

  1. Oh dear, the winter kitchen doldrums are tough to dig out of for sure. Maybe that’s why this is the time of year that’s rife with “Comfort Food with a Twist,” which is always a surefire way to lift me out of the dumps when I’m in ’em. Out go the adventuresome and complicated dishes and in comes pizza with simple new toppings (arugula!) or grilled cheese with unusual add-ins (pear!).

    In any case, I do hope you feel better soon. Here’s to getting your groove back!

  2. i love this post
    because you’re just SO HUMAN

    oh – the kitchen mojo… it’ll be back in no time
    in the meantime? beans and greens…
    it’s always my fall back!
    (and then we crack an egg on top)

  3. Jen–Women are naturally “plate spinners” and it’s often hard for us to give ourselves permission to pull back. With your new workload, Mike’s new job and opposite hours, and a kitty who is feeling poorly….it’s all piling up! Ordering in and cutting back a tad sound like a good way for you to give yourself a moment to breathe. Even Wonder Woman took off the magic cuffs. Good luck as you ease into your new groove 😉

  4. We had Valentine’s steak au poivre, too! 🙂 Great minds, I tell ya…

    Sometimes weekends like that are the best, stocking the freezer, eating out, and just *being* for a while.

  5. alicia says:

    hey, if it’s any consolation, i actually spat up the breakfast that i made this morning =(… my timing was so off, and my food was so undercooked that it was literally inedible. fortunately Nick’s turned out fine!

  6. I felt the same way this weekend. I spent and hour trying to make some sort of a Korean BBQ dish with a few sides. Everything was greasy and too sweet, or burnt, and I had sauce splattered everywhere. Each time I tried to work on something else I would drop a sauce covered spoon and make more of a mess. I gave up.

    Two hours later I decided to make cookies, and you know what, they were amazing.

    Sometimes you just have to switch gears.

  7. This too shall pass (although I agree it always feels like catastrophe when nothing’s going right in the kitchen).

    We ordered in last week, too — it was a lovely luxury, and I’m enjoying the leftovers for lunch today.

    Hugs to you… spring is coming!

  8. Julia says:

    When I’m low on kitchen mojo I go to the library and check out a cookbook: one that I wouldn’t buy–the more oddball the better. It’s a great vicarious experience even if it ends there, but usually I end up seeing some really new (or old but unfamiliar) idea that gives me a jolt of inspiration.

    Whatever works for you! Good luck!

  9. Don’t pressure yourself. Your kitchen mojo will be back when it’s good and ready, and my guess is that that will happen sooner than you think. You’re such a creative person (obvious from your photos/meals/posts) that I have no doubt you’ll feel it again. Take a little rest and enjoy the down time. We’ll still be here!

  10. Karen says:

    I still enjoyed your post and pictures! Actually I am excited to see what happens this week, because it’s bound to be good. I bet you’ll be in fighting mode in no time… and THEN we’ll be in for a treat. Chin up, girl.

  11. Frances says:

    It’s just the winter blues love. It’s hit all of us up here in the Northeast. Be extra gentle with yourself, and don’t fret. Sunny days, spring blossoms, and fresh inspiration will all come again.

  12. Carrie says:

    How do you store the homemade pasta? I end up tossing what we don’t cook because I don’t know how to store it. I’ve read that freezing it turns it to a big mush and I’m not really sure how to try and dry it or how long it stays good for.

  13. jamie says:

    i am not one to embrace change…….any change…..even good change.
    this will pass or become the new normal.
    take time for yourself. you inspire us, now find a few people to let inspire you.
    sending warm thoughts your way.

  14. suz says:

    It sounds like you’re having a rough time of it. Maybe it will help to know that even your non-mojo self still turns out more good healthy food than I do! stock and soup and frites! Even if your eggs broke you’re still doing pretty great in my book. Hope you get used to your new routine soon.

    P.S. Spring always shows up… eventually!

  15. lo says:

    Well, I’m sending you good vibes. We’ve certainly all been there, and it’s no fun. On the upside, you can’t force it — but eventually the mojo comes back. Just take some time for you, relax, and let things unfold as they’re meant to.

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