Wednesday, November 13, 2013

painting and cooking

 When a local wine shop offered a painting class, I thought it'd be a fun
thing to do with some friends. And, bonus ~ the price included a glass of
wine. Well, we found out by trial and error that the class was not for amateurs.
 There was a printed sheet of instructions on what to draw (the outline) and what
 paint  colors to use, but the instructor did not show us how to do this. So, we winged
 it. We called the  instructor to our table a few times to ask questions, but let's face
 it, art takes  a lot of know-how, talent, and practice. We laughed, drank our wine,
 and did the best we could. This is my friend, Barb with our paintings.
Mine is on the left.

It was worth a try. I wouldn't mind practicing at home ~ or actually
taking an instructional class sometime.

Thankfully, I'm much better at cooking than I am painting. This was a chicken
and black bean tortilla soup that I whipped up off the top of my head. I had
posted the picture on Facebook and Jane had commented that I should put it
 on my blog with the recipe and I told her that I didn't have a recipe! I can see
 or taste a dish in my mind and create as I go. Much like an artist who can
draw or paint something from their head, that is how I sometimes cook.

Remember my great-aunt Sylvia that I talked about visiting at the end of
October and how her son - my cousin, Greg passed down her cake plate
and linens to me? And then I talked about finding one of her recipes 
in my mom's recipe box. Aunt Sylvia quietly passed away in her sleep 
on November 9th. How fitting that I had recently found one of her hand-written
 recipes recently...I knew I had to make her pork tenderloin last night.

While I was cooking, I was thinking of my great-aunt and could picture her
in her tiny kitchen, lovingly preparing this same dish for her family. I served
the pork with cheesy zucchini brown rice and sauteed green beans and yellow
 peppers. I find that rice is easy to "doctor up" according to your tastes. I simply
 cooked the rice according to package directions and stirred in shredded zucchini 
and shredded sharp cheddar cheese when the rice was done cooking. I added a
little bit of the shredded zucchini to the green bean mixture.

What creative endeavor are you naturally good at? What do you enjoy
doing but need more practice?



  1. Well, I think it is great that you two gave it a go. Sounds like it was a fun time. I think I would have had to have an extra glass of wine (or three). I have one more Art for Adults class and then will decide whether I will do the next session that will begin in January. Sorry to hear of your aunt's passing. It is lovely that you have some of her things and can think of her fondly. I enjoy cooking and never, ever follow a recipe to a tee. That's why it is hard for me to share recipes. A pinch of this and a pinch of that can be quite different when made by someone else. Hope you are having a good week. Tammy

    1. We were joking that perhaps another glass of wine would've made the painting easier - and better! lol Thanks for your condolences on my aunt. I rarely follow a recipe to a tee - unless it's baking.

  2. I think your painting is terrific, personally. Your soup and pork loin meal look delicious! I like to cook off the top of my head a lot too. I love cookbooks and have many of them, but it's fun to be creative sometimes. I think I'm naturally a pretty good cook because I have a good sense of what tastes good together as well as what will be attractive to look at. I'm also good at visualizing things to sew them, like making a pattern and then putting it all together properly. I'm definitely hoping to get better at crocheting, because I'm pretty good but still learning, and I dream of mastering knitting someday! That one has eluded me completely so far. :)

    1. You are too kind, Jennifer! You sound like me with the cooking, but I can't sew, knit, crochet, or do any kind of needlework to save my life!

  3. I think your painting turned out amazing. Give yourself some credit! The meal looks delicious. I too can cook off the top of my head at times, but my family are very plain eaters, so I don't enjoy cooking that much. My "area" is decorating and all kinds of crafts, including sewing, jewelry, painting (stuff, not pictures:), and this and that. Thanks for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays.

    1. Thank you so much, Deborah - you are very sweet. We all have our different talents, don't we? Good thing we're all not the same!

  4. You cook better than you paint . . . I don't do either well . . .but I am a good baker so I guess that counts for something.

    1. It sure does! You also create a beautiful home and do wonderful crafty things.

  5. Melanie,

    I love your painting! I would frame it and hang it where it complements the decor of a particular room! Your pork tenderloin looks delicious, savoury and very satisfying! It's funny...I learned to cook watching my mom and all the Greek dishes I make are second nature to me, could cook them with my eyes closed. Baking, which my mom doesn't do, I learned on my own, and it's what I enjoy most, basically because I have a sweet tooth, which is always aching for a seasonal muffin or cake! It is my wish to open a little bakery cafe with my daughter, one day, in Ontario. I think I have a good eye for colour and pattern and enjoy decorating my house as well as those of friends and family. I have no talent for sewing, knitting or crocheting. I still don't know how I passed home economics in junior high!


    1. Thanks for saying you love my painting. I am indeed going to buy an inexpensive black frame and find somewhere to hang it. I don't care that it isn't perfect or professional - I like the colors. Like you, I learned to cook and bake on my own. My mom and I used to talk about opening a little coffee and bake shop together, but it was just that - all talk. I hope your dream comes true for you and your daughter! We sound just alike with the cooking and decorating but then having no talent for sewing, knitting or crocheting. :-)


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