Assembly Line Cooking

I know I say it often, but simply cooking really is the way to go. Many times people will tell ask me how I do it all. I have a full time job, my new practice, a husband and two little kids, friends, parents, a sister, and the list goes one. I do it all because we all do it... it's my life. Everything on this list is something I love and is important to me. I am also a big believer in only doing things that matter to me. True, this can't always work out the way I'd like, but I try my best. I also try to do things in the most efficient way; sometimes this means doing something quickly and just getting done with it. Sometimes it means being more strategic. 

Tonight I am cooking my usual shabbat/ Friday night dinner. I am also trying to get 10 other things done in the short hours while my kids are at school. So my menu was planned last night and my grocery shopping was done early this morning. My wonderful husband will light the grill and the staring role in tonight's meal will go to BBQ chicken and flank steak. Supporting, and yet equally delicious roles will be played by fresh heirloom tomato salad, roasted fingerling potatoes, baby zucchini and... corn on the cob. 

Here is where my strategic dinner planning comes in. My long time mentor and friend, Ellen, who has taught me everything I know about how to be a good social worker has influenced my most recent thinking in the kitchen as well. We have been talking a lot about this fantastic book. The Body Keeps The Score by Bassel Van Der Kolk. I won't get into too many of the details since this is suppose to be about my corn :) but I will tell you this. Van Der Kolk talks about healing trauma. We all have trauma in our lives in one way or another in varying degrees. Hopefully, we work through this. Van Der Kolk believes that a productive way to work through this trauma is by using the idea of repetition, cadence, is the term he uses. Flow, rhythm, patterns.... this is my dinner tonight. 

Getting back to my corn... I found fresh, beautiful corn in the market this morning. I came home and shucked, washed and got my corn ready. I prepared individual pieces of tin foil. I poured about a teaspoon of olive oil in each piece of foil, a sprinkled my favorite french picnic salt on each piece of foil and then i rolled a piece of corn in each piece of foil. I repeated this 8 times for 8 pieces of corn. 

Assembly line cooking at its best. For a few minutes, I wasn't thinking about anything other than my pretty corn. It felt great to get lost in something easy, simple, and soon to be delicious. To me, this simple task/ dish personified CAT. Routine, pattern, predictability, and a fantastic outcome that was going to please my family. Nothing better than that if you ask me. Thank you Ellen for teaching me so much. You even brought my corn a whole new meaning.