Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sweet Success

I have decided that it's high time that I learn how to cook. I'm not sure exactly how to go about this process. I have in the past learned how to make specific dishes, but not general cooking. Step one for me was starting to find out how to actually cut up vegetables and fruits, as opposed to hacking at them with a knife until they were the right size. This is still a work in progress, so if you see me in kitchen don't be surprised to find me doing something in a completely unorthodox and complicated manner which will likely involve using the "wrong" type of knife.

Other than learning basic food prep, I haven't figured out any other way to learn how to cook without just cooking more often. Jeff is usually our cook, and I've tried to learn by watching and that was a big pile of fail. I get in the way, bug him by asking too many questions, and I also get bored and then fail to listen, so that doesn't work. I've grabbed recipes from cookbooks, television, and various websites and they've mostly resulted in disaster*. I lack the cooking knowledge that lets people like Jeff look at a recipe and see inherent flaws in instructions or flavor ratios. I also lack the timing and techniques a more seasoned cook would have, so the deck is stacked against me when it comes to grabbing random recipes. My greatest successes have come from recipes supplied by friends, especially when they are on hand for the first cooking and I can get some off the cuff answers to my questions. Second runner up are recipes from people that I know online, I'm guessing because they tend to come from real people who don't spend their days creating complicated foods for a living.

All of that is leading up to: I cooked last night, and it was pretty darn good. I followed a link from Tim's blog and ended up on Epicurious. I found a few recipes that sounded like foods I would like to eat, and I might be able to prepare with minimal help from Jeff. Last night's recipe came from the Dinner Rush selections that are supposed to be quick and easy. I made the Avocado and Watercress Salad and the Lemon Fettuccine with Broccoli and Pancetta. They both came out really well, both of us were impressed with me. Tonight I'm going to attempt the Mexican Salad with Honey Lime Dressing, only I feel the need to add some meat so I've got a steak to cook and slice up with it. We'll see I guess.

Are there any recipes that you think I should check out? or online recipe sources that rarely let you down?

*Disaster in the case of my cooking means that it was inedible, even by the most polite company, or so terrible that it went straight from a pan to the trash.

1 comment:

yer mama said...

I think I started with the basics and cracked open The Joy of Cooking book to become the legendary culinary success that I am.

Yay for you! I think cooking is a great skill that everyone should have.

Like knitting.

Except that I can't do that.