I have been doing so much cooking and eating lately that I’m honestly surprised I’m still hungry. I’ve been baking — testing out multiple pies and cakes for a certain upcoming holiday. Every morning I’m forced to drink smoothies by a certain hubby. For lunch I’ve been eating at old haunts in San Francisco, and on top of that I still cook dinner almost every night. And then there’s the late-night snacks. It’s a lot.
So when dinnertime comes around and my appetite hasn’t faded, I’m confused, but maybe that’s just who I am! I’ve never been one to diagnose why I eat things. However, I do know that I go through food cycles. Sometimes that means I only want to eat one thing like dairy or carbs or a combination of both. Sometimes it’s just that I can’t stop eating — perhaps that’s partly because of the type of career I’ve chosen, but it’s my appetite, too.
When I was younger, my parents would have Top Ramen lying around for this very moment when they were away. I didn’t know how to cook back then and they knew I’d be hungry. It was something easy, cheap, delicious and, most importantly, I could cook it on my own because the only cooking skill needed is to know how to boil water.
I’d add other things to that steamy bowl of flavored noodles, “doctoring it up” as my brother would call it. Sometimes that was an egg he’d fry for me, very roughly chopped green onions that I’d cut myself or sometimes it was some hot sauce, frozen peas and sesame oil. I like to think of these simple add-ons as a nod to the Japanese dish that, back then, I didn’t realize was a thing. I blame this partly on the fact that my hometown only had, like, 12 restaurants; none were Japanese and mostly had a Euro vibe.
My current incessant hunger has me cooking ramen noodles again. This time my process is a little different but my noodles are still from a package. Only now I prefer the fresh, curly wheat noodles that I get at my local market. Dried noodles work, too.
I start by searing and roasting chunks of the yellow-y orange flesh of the Kabocha squash. It gets a little sweeter when roasted and its slight dryness eventually marries well with the brothy stew.
While the squash is roasting, I cook a pork shoulder steak in my Dutch oven. …….