Saturday, March 21, 2009

Some things I love

Last night Ben & I went to a fundraiser for The Whatcom Dream. They have a silent auction as part of their fundraiser. I placed a bid on an item and won. It got me thinking about things I love.

There are certain smells I am drawn to and others I would prefer to avoid, while others I think are fine, but not my cup of tea.
  1. I really like the smell of lavender. It has a fresh, clean smell, but not just a simple clean linen sort of smell. It has an added oomph to it. I like to use lavender laundry bags, lotion, or even conditioner. It adds a bit of tranquility to the craziness of life.
  2. Citrus smells. Growing up in AZ makes me bias to this wonder. I love the taste and smell, and as my older brother would say, "nature's candy." I love the smell of orange blossoms in the winter. I love how it's so invigorating and lively.
  3. Tea Tree Mint is sublime. I especially love it when it has to do with shampoo, because of the tingling sensation. It reminds me of a spa getaway, so I buy the kind from Trader Joe's and it's a spa imitation for a cheaper price.
  4. Coconut is lovely as well. I really like coconut lotion or these fun vanilla coconut candles.
  5. Freshly ground coffee or espresso. Could there be a better smell?
  6. I think my last favorite smell is Autumn smells. The combination of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, & allspice. The smell of homemade apple or pumpkin pie baking in the oven.

I realize I am a sensing sort of person. I would hate to lose my sense of taste, which would be combined with my sense of smell. I'm really good at being able to pick up flavors in dishes, which is probably why I enjoy baking and cooking so much. I can remember going to a work dinner with Ben in our first year of marriage. Everyone had the same side dishes. One of the sides was this layered potato dish with a secret ingredient. Ben knows that I have a keen sense of taste & smell (and I love trying to figure out puzzles), so he asked me what it was and sure was roasted red peppers. So delicious!

Here are some of my favorite tastes:
  1. Chocolate. As if anyone should be surprised. It is so good. I truly love a good milk chocolate the best. One of my favorites is Lindt Milk Chocolate (not to be confused with their truffles, because I don't like those), due to the caramel undertones. It makes a wonderful ganache for a cake. I also really enjoy Valrhona bittersweet chocolate. I've tried Scharffen Berger, but I don't think it's as good as Valrhona. Valhrona is more smooth and has the nice pure chocolate taste that I enjoy in a darker chocolate, while Scharffen Berger has more of a fruity taste to it (their bittersweet that is).
  2. Almond. I have come to realize that I love anything almond, well at least in baked goods. I enjoy marzipan, almond paste, and especially these wonderful almond croissants I had in Montreal, Canada. I have yet to find one just like it. I have tried at three places in Bellingham, but have yet been satisfied. The croissant I had was flaky & buttery of course, but the almond paste was thoroughly distributed inside the croissant. It was moist, yet not overly so as to make it soggy. It was a heavenly and I am going to try and replicate it.
  3. Crab. Growing up in AZ we never ate seafood or fish. I was uncultured in the ways of the sea creature. Then, I move to a water city and realize the goodness I had been missing out on. Oh crab, let me count the ways. It's plump, buttery, salty, (I see no point in using butter to dip my crab because it stands alone so well) and out of this world. Crab cakes are another thing. A delicacy to the taste buds. If I could have crab once a week I don't think I would get bored.
  4. Eggs. It could be that I'm on an egg kick, but what the heck. I really do enjoy eggs. As a kid I would only eat scrambled eggs, but as an adult I have realized the error of my ways and ventured into the land of runny yolk. My father-in-law made two eggs over easy with buttered toast after Veronica was born and I was hooked. The runny yolk being picked up with the buttered toast is divine. It's rich decadence in a healthy way (aside from the buttered toast). I actually just received The Good Egg Cookbook and it's really quite amazing to think of all the possibilities these little guys have to offer. It's no wonder most kids don't eat meat, but LOVE eggs.
  5. Strawberries. I think my favorite of all fruits would be the ruby found in late Spring. They are fantastic all alone, or adorned with chocolate, mixed with fresh whipped cream and layered between a biscuit (shortcake), or sliced on top of plain yogurt and topped with granola. How yummy they are indeed.
  6. Lastly, I would say the creamy goodness found in ripe avocado. I still remember my dad toasting whole wheat bread, and spreading mayo on top with a shake of pepper. He would then lay slices of avocado on the bread and we would have an avocado sandwich. I can eat them as they are, or cut them and squeeze fresh lime juice, dash of kosher salt, sweet corn, & black beans (and sometimes salsa) to make a nice side dish (fresh oregano pairs nicely with it). This is one of those fruits that I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't like it.
I have more things that I really love to taste, but these are the ones that come to mind. I think of a rhubarb-strawberry pie, or a fresh peach pie with nutmeg and brown sugar. Or grilled salmon in the summer. Or bread from the local bakery with fresh butter is a simple treat. And one cannot forget the perfect mocha (not too sweet, submersion of steamed milk, crema in the shot and cocoa). There are so many foods that I love and enjoy making myself. I think I've been thinking about these, because I sense Spring is in the air and that means fresh produce and time to create in the kitchen. What are some of your favorites?


Anonymous said...

The way you described crab is the exact same way you described me this weekend.

Paige said...

You have great taste! And your descriptions of all of these luscious foods make my mouth water! Thank you God for food!

KAMILLE said...

Paige--don't know if you'll get this, but I totally agree about thanking God for food. I often think about heaven as a big feast (of course not just feasting) and enjoying one another.

Ben you're silly!