I pulled up to Kristen’s adorable pale yellow bungalow, which she endearingly refers to as “Canary Casa,” shortly after 9 am. The house she shares with her roommate, who is a gifted knitter and sewer I might add, is warm and inviting, eclectic and cozy… just the type of atmosphere you would expect from two creative people. Kristen’s outlet is in the kitchen and her medium of choice is food. And not just any food, but natural, real, simple and good ingredients.
As soon as I walked in, we headed to the kitchen. She had worship music playing and chicken defrosting in a warm bowl of water. She had originally planned on a leg of lamb, but time wise decided to prepare a rosemary and smokey cheddar encrusted chicken with fresh arugula salad and rustic red mashed potatoes as the side. As she cooked, I photographed, and we talked, our conversation oscillating from one passion to the next– eating from the pasture to Jesus to cooking and photographing to Jesus.
Kristen has this way about talking about food and conscious living that’s intriguing. On this day in particular, as she was washing handfuls of fresh arugula leaves, she asked, “have you ever eaten real arugula?” To which I paused and wondered, “what is it that I have been eating this entire time?” I was almost afraid to ask. But her responses are always just enough for someone like me to digest, to feel inspired, armed to make better choices and not naive or dumb.
As she pulled out ingredient after ingredient, working with what she had on hand, she’d make notes on a pad to later turn into a recipe. I was impressed. Some rosemary. A cup of smokey, unpasteurized cheddar. Tapioca powder. She was just eyeing everything, adjusting as she went and the final meal was simply delicious, wholesome, and heartwarming.
Thank you for letting me follow you around in your kitchen and sharing a meal with me, Kristen. You know I’d love to do it anytime.