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8.09.2012

AM I A GOOD COOK? CAN TURKEYS FLY?


Recently someone asked me, "Are you a good cook?" 
That is a loaded question I told them.  If I say yes, then it appears I might be a bit arrogant, possibly misguided about my own cooking skills.  It might make me like the contestants on "American Idol" who claim they are amazing singers but when they audition there is nothing "good" about their talent - an extremely skewed view of self!   He rephrased, "Do others say you are a good cook?"  That line of questioning made it easier to put the misguidedness or wrong opinion of my cooking ability on others thus taking the burden off my own opinion.  Yes, I said. 

I don't typically cook with recipes but by look and feel and taste.  If I use recipes it is usually as a guideline and I will mix parts of two or three recipes together to create.  Usually then later I cannot, when wanting to make something again that was a big hit to the eaters, totally get it exact again.  A great much of the time I can't remember how I did it at all, what 4 recipes I perused to create a variation.  Since I do not write proportions down, substitutions or the like it usually varies from making to making.  A bit like a slot machine in Vegas!

It makes sense that I am loosey-goosey with cooking.  That coincides perfectly with the way in which I approach a great many things in life.  Since I really whole-heartedly believe that anything can be done and, that I have the ability to do it or garner information from someone who knows more than me, I possibly overly confidently approach most things - cooking included.

My middle sister and mom are follow-the-recipe-to-the-T cooks using exact measurements and the exact ingredients.  My oldest sister follows recipes too but without the cooking love or passion.  She has no great love of cooking and does it mostly because her family feels they need to eat!  Though I always like what she makes.

Invariably I will make a salad or some other dish for an extended family gathering and my sisters will ask, "Did you make this up or use a recipe?"  I cannot usually repeat what is in it, how I created it to taste like that or in what proportions my recipe following clan would need to make it.  How do you say, "Well, I just dumped some of this in, and then added some of that, tasted it and then decided it needed this." 

I would not survive one round on Chef Gordon Ramsey's "Hells Kitchen", cooking skills aside.  It's not that I am opposed to combining swearing and cooking, hell I do it frequently myself.  But I would probably start laughing at his and others intensity over FOOD!   Passion I get, wanting a good meal, being the best, I can get in line for those beliefs.  Come on now though, it is not a lasting piece of art that will be around for hundreds of years.  It's duck ala rouge that at tops will be ingested, digested and expelled in just under 6 hours! 

Last weekend my husband and I had a piece of champagne raspberry cake at one of our favorite restaurants.  It was probably some of the best cake I have ever had.  Now on a quest to make it, I have searched through dozens of recipes on-line to get a feel for what makes a champagne raspberry cake good, how to get the texture right and if any old champagne will do.  I don't have a desire to be on the show "Cake Boss", but I would like to really learn how to make a cake that leaves em mmmmmming for more!   The kind of taste that makes you not want to put anything after it in your mouth, savoring it until all the flavor melts away.  Holy cow, I just started salivating thinking about that cake!

Bon Appetit!

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