I certainly won’t be the first to say that cooking is a form of composing… Just like Julie Powell in Julie and Julie, I’ve recently realized that cooking is a beautiful, freeing space for composing–a space open to creativity at the end of stressful days.
Whether I like it or not, I’ve officially been diagnosed with “gastritis”–a stomach issue where too much acid builds up in your tummy and gives you stomach aches. For me, the aches usually start in the afternoon and happen especially on days when I teach. Why does my body react so harshly to the stresses of teaching? Am I the only one out there who feels sensitive-stomach-syndrome on teaching days?
I’ve been dealing with gastritis for over a year now, but now that summer is officially over and classes have started up, the symptoms are as bad as ever, even with Zantac. My guess is that the symptoms are so strong because 1) at Purdue, I see my students every weekday; 2) I’m started my PhD in an amazing program that I’m excited to do well in; and 3) I’m adjusting to living away from my family and friends. The strangest thing about these stomach issues is that I know they’re stress-related but in my mind and spirit, everything seems alright! It seems like the aches come out of nowhere. SO…
I’ve discovered one of the best mental remedies: cooking up compositions. What do I mean? For me, cooking is a kind of composing. I take a variety of fragments (veggies, oils/butters, meats, cheeses) and combine them together into a composition (a yummy quiche). Tonight, after the worst stomach ache I’ve had in a while, I played in the kitchen and created a spin-off of my mom’s mom’s (“grammy’s”) quiche.
- 1 frozen unbaked pie shell
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 slices swiss cheese
- 2 tsp. flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Optional: turkey sausage (cooked), fresh rosemary, mushrooms (sauteed), onions, spinach, you-name-it
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the swiss cheese on the bottom of the pie shell. Place the pie shell on a baking sheet (for easy handling). Layer the filling–cheddar cheese and optional ingredients–in the pie shell. Combine the eggs, milk, flour, salt, and rosemary (or other herbs) and pour on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes.
The result was scrumptious! I feel much better now. Gave myself a break of Food Network and cooking after a busy day… 😉