Monday, October 18, 2010
1) I don't know how to do it and it seems really hard to learn - that's time that could be spent reading!
2) I am incredibly picky - it's easier just to order what I want cooked exactly the way I want it from a restaurant than to figure out how to modify a recipe to suit me
When I saw Cooking For Geeks by Jeff Potter I knew it was the perfect way for me to learn. I'm a geek! I love geek things! I have Dr. Who artwork hanging on the wall in my house! I contacted the author for a review copy and he was gracious enough to not only send me a PDF for my Nook, but also to answer interview questions as I go through his book and test out my new cooking knowledge. Along for the ride are my expert tasters: Bestie, Bestie's husband, and my husband.
This week was the first chapter of the book, which deals with the need for preparedness. The reader learns how important it is to read the entire recipe first, make sure you have all your ingredients and tools, and then start. But let's be real - this is me we are talking about. I thought, "Self you are way too awesome for advance preparations. Send Luke to the store and wing it!" So that's exactly what I did. It turns out, Jeff is definitely on to something with this idea about thinking ahead when you cook. Here's what happened when I made steak tips and rosemary mashed potatoes.
Step One: Take the dogs to the park. Tell husband you must leave no later than 4. Stay until 5.
Step Two: Rush home and shower. Send husband to the store with a grocery list.
Step Three: Get out recipe and realize it calls for vacuum-sealed food bags and a thermometer. Panic. Lay on the couch and read blogs until husband gets home and whine that you can't make dinner after all.
Step Four: Sudden burst of inspiration! You can make your own vacuum sealed bag with ziploc! Find thermometer in pile of unused wedding gifts stashed in back drawer.
Step Five: Use fancy spoons from same pile of unused wedding gifts to rig your not-quite vacuum sealed bag so that it doesn't float.
So, what did I learn? When an expert writes an entire chapter on the importance of reading directions - you might want to consider reading the directions. Next week I'll be reading the recipes ahead of time, buying the ingredients myself, and giving myself more time to prepare. I'll also have the answers to the questions I asked Jeff about this week's meal.
Posted by Julie G at 11:16 PM