Thank you all so much for your suggestions, after my panicky "my brainz don't werk and I kant post nuthing" post. I'm going to be answering a bunch today, and then as the days go on, I'll be returning to that post to get your questions and answer them.
The first questions, on both Dreamwidth and LJ, had to do with food. lilacsigil asked, "Favourite foods: to cook, and to eat when someone else is making it!", while flowsoffire on LJ asked "Favourite food? Favourite recipe to make?" (She also asked a couple of other neat questions, that I'll answer in another post.)
My favorite foods to cook tend to be the comfort foods of my childhood and youth.
My very first reaction to the question was right from my heart (and stomach) - macaroni and cheese, cooked from scratch, with all sorts of cheese put into the white sauce; parmesan or romano, cheddar, wine-soaked cheeses that I might have on hand.
Add some Worcestershire sauce, a very tiny bit of dry mustard (not too much, or it gets bitter), some garlic, dried onion (it's better than chopped fresh onions in my opinion, because fresh onions can make the mix watery, while dried onion adds flavor and soaks up other flavors as it expands with the moisture already in the sauce); perhaps some heat from hot sauce, like sriracha, or habanero-tomatillo mixes, even though my stomach gives me the hairy eyeball these days when I indulge.
Sometimes I whisk an egg into the mix, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I simply mix the pasta - elbows or any other pasta whose shape catches and holds the sauce - and serve. I prefer to put the whole shebang into a casserole dish and bake it for a half hour to 45 minutes; long enough for the sauce to set, and the top to brown. Serving this with a salad is my idea of providing house-happiness to my loved ones. And the next day, it's even better.
Of course, the more I thought about it, I realized that I actually love making casseroles of all kinds. Like mac and cheese, they allow for recipe tweaking, and for making use of whatever you might have in the fridge that needs using before it goes bad (somewhere, my Nana nods approvingly.) You can experiment to a surprising extent with casseroles.
I also love making Japanese curry from scratch (if you go to Namiko Chen's web site, "Just One Cookbook" and you'll discover how to make all kinds of great Japanese dishes; the comfort food that isn't' sushi.) I think I only put mac and cheese ahead of Japanese curry because it's a little easier. For instance, there's a particular way of cutting the carrots that go into the curry, and little things like that are fun but a little more labor intensive.
The best thing, though, about cooking? Having someone sitting in the dining room next to the kitchen, chatting with me while I do the prep work.
My favorite foods prepared by someone else? Almost certainly Indian/Nepalese or Mexican, or Bob's steak. (There's also pizza, especially Chicago deep-dish. You don't think deep dish is pizza? Fight me.)
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