Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm pleased to report that my cooking is no longer a threat.

Four years ago I was vaguely aware that there was a kitchen in the house. I knew it as the place where I could go to get a soda out of the fridge. Cooking was not really part of my life because I had no reason to enjoy it: I had no one to cook for but myself, and there were far more convenient and less messy ways to get food.

Having a husband who appreciates good cooking has changed all of that, and I've definitely found a love of cooking.  Plus, after watching episode after episode of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares, I pretty much assume that all restaurants are filthy cockroach pits.  I'm certainly no Betty Crocker, but I'm finding my way around the kitchen with the help of my cookbook apps and some food blogs.  So far, I'm getting pretty good, and I've learned a lot:

1. Life is too short for crappy cookware. Until my birthday this year, my cookware consisted of a Goodwill hodge-podge of seconds and hand-me-downs. My husband bought me a nice set of new cookware and I'm honestly not sure how I ever cooked without it. Cooking with nice cookware is a pleasure. If I'm ever unhappy with a piece of my cookware, it is not too much of an expense to replace it with something good.

Maybe it's the autumn talking, but I love my pumpkin colored cookware.

2. Pre-shredded cheese is an abomination against nature. I admit it - I used to love those bags of Sargento's shredded cheese. I'd pick up a bag of the Mexican four-cheese when I made tacos, or a bag of the Italian blend when I made lasagna. Then one day I decided to just buy a block of cheese and grate it myself. It was fantastic. I enjoyed it. Very zen. It makes cooking feel more like cooking and less like assembly line work.  Plus, bag of cheese?  That just sounds gross.  No more cheesebags in this house.

3. Store-bought sauerkraut is not that awesome.  I recently fermented a crock of sauerkraut and learned that it is ridiculously easy and very tasty. The health benefits of sauerkraut are hard to overstate, so there's no reason not to have fresh (or at least home-canned) sauerkraut.

4. There's no fun in frozen pizza.  You don't have to go whole-hog and make your crust from scratch or prepare your sauce from fresh tomatoes, but good for you if you can.  We go much simpler as our quick and easy meal:  a Boboli pizza crust is an invitation to be creative, and it isn't much harder to create a pizza than it is to cook a frozen one.  Our favorite combination so far has been pineapple and turkey bacon.

5.Don't be afraid to trash a disaster.  God knows I've created a few W-T-Fs in my kitchen, and I'd never force a disaster on my family.  If the casserole turned into a charred lump, it's time to trash the pan and go to Chili's.

Simple stuff, basic stuff, but I really, really enjoy my kitchen now.



Michelle said...

I just found your blog through Bloggy Moms.

My husband is the cook in our house. I keep saying I want to learn, but keep letting him do it all!!

My main blog currently is if you want to check it out.

Captain Cleavage said...

hahaha bag of cheese! lol

My mil gave me her recipie for tomato sauce...I trashed the first 5 batches lol

WTH am I Doing? said...

My Hub also wanted a wife who cooks. And everyone (including me) is surprised that I do ok with it. I actually kinda enjoy it, when I have time to do it right. I love doing home made pizza (I'm the only one who likes motives might be selfish...) & I have a small shrine erected to my slow cooker. :) I have learned the lesson of good knives and am working toward good cookware.

Lilo said...

As someone who has experienced your cooking, YUM is all I can say. :) Hope it happens again sometime before 2010 is over. And you can experience our old-cookwear cooking! lol