I play an obscure Turkish instrument and my music teacher is a very demanding man (as his children were quick to tell me when I started taking lessons). When he found out his wife couldn't cook, the story goes, he threatened to call off the wedding until his fiancee's mother made her memorize a cookbook. To this day, all the Turks say that she's the best cook around. She always insists I have dinner with them and she has taught me a few recipes, but this one (called Yayla Corbasi, which means "green mountain fields soup") I reverse engineered to suit my usual ingredients. She makes this soup with a very liquidy homemade yogurt, whereas I usually have greek-style yogurt or full-fat Brown Cow. Anyway, this is a really quick, delicious comfort-food soup. I always have the ingredients on hand, so I throw this together when I don't want to try very hard. Can also whisk in an egg to thicken it up. —solmstea
Bulgur wheat or Pearled barley (or ~1.5 cup cooked)
I like to cook simply, especially cooking with things I can find (or at the very least, find at the farmers market which, in SoCal, contains every kind of produce on earth!). I like ingredients like lambsquarters, which grow in every alley and once-tilled ditch but are overlooked as weeds. Or I like scuba diving for lobster - lobster you catch with your bare hands just tastes Great! Generally, I don't like overly fussy recipes and tend to just improvise with whatever I have on hand and few meals come out of my kitchen without green garlic, cayenne, orange zest, or either fresh mint or dill.