Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cooking Monster

As promised, the focus of this blog will be shifting ever so slightly, and instead of doing totally new things every day, I am going to try things I'm bad at with some regularity. Like all blog projecty things, an in accordance with my own advice in a recent book, I am starting small and within my comfort zone. (Does that make it sound like I'm comfortable being bad at stuff? Good! Cause everybody's bad at something! Now I'll become comfortable with getting better at it!)
I'm bad at cooking.
So I've been doing it as often as possible. Mr. and I were in CA for two weeks at Christmastime, so I've been a bit rusty for the past couple of days, but I did spend the better part of December broiling, sauteeing and marinating, with increasingly edible results.
Earlier this year, in the midst of rehearsals, traveling and generally enjoying life almost entirely out of the kitchen, I fell out of the tiny groove that I had begun to establish. I had a small stable of reliably easy meals in my wheelhouse: vegetarian tacos, shiitake spaghetti, portabello burgers, and seitan piccata. Then I exploded one of Mr.'s plates and all confidence was shot to hell. (Note to fellow non-cooks who cook: Always check to make sure that the burner you turned on for the asparagus is actually under the asparagus and not under your transfer plate. This might seem like common sense, but I tend to be neither common nor sensical).
Somewhere in late fall, I decided to conquer my semi-valid fear of the broiler, and ended up making some surprisingly delicious rosemary-garlic chicken. It went off without a hitch (and in my case, 'hitch' has also meant 'setting fire to a knife,' so this is an especially good thing) and I made it again. And again. And again. And.... a lot. But it always went well and resulted in a satisfying round of "yummy noises" from across the table. Side dishes included steamed kale with toasted garlic, steamed kale with toasted garlic and almonds, steamed kale with toasted garlic and toasted almonds, and a similarly repetitive collection of quinoa dishes. So now I'm branching out. I've been better at keeping repeats, fiery utensils and exploding ceramics to a minimum. I've come to realize that recipes are in most cases guidelines, and no longer fear poisoning or rains of toads should I replace lemon juice with vinegar, or add garbanzos instead of cannelloni.
Coming up: musical badness, sartorial badness and revisiting a standardized test.

1 comment:

grow said...

pssst, this is intriguing on the cooking front because i have the same view of my cooking-- branching out of my repertoire is slightly terrifying, but lately it's been happening.... (though i'm documenting totally different things on my #365blog. guess i haven't been viewing as creative, though that's not the case.) please keep us posted! peace, grow.