Post Title: [none] I'm enrolling in a culinary arts program. I've decided that in my early to mid 20s my inability to cook was fine -- almost cute to some. But now, as I stride full speed into my late 20s, lacking the capacity just looks silly. That and I'd prefer my future child's sole culinary experience to not originate from a microwave oven or a take-out box.
Post Date: Thursday, September 20, 2007
Post Title: I Guess I'm Still on the STEEP Learning Curve When I used to say I didn't know how to cook, I always assumed that I could if I wanted to -- without any help. School has always been a walk in the park for me. I pick up a book, flip through the first and last page of each chapter, and ace the test. Cooking should be the same, right? Follow directions = cook like Emeril Lagasse. Humph. Not so much.
Cooking is quite literally an art.
I know what you're thinking -- "Didn't you get a bachelor's degree in the fine arts?" Well, yes and no. Film is an "art," but it's a very technical art. When it comes to actual art...I ride the short bus. Even with help, I had two pretty bad "cooking offenses" this week....
When looking for purple cabbage, I ended up with radishia (yup, I know I'm butchering the spelling of whatever it was I bought). What is radishia? I have no idea, but it looks alot like purple cabbage, only smaller and a heck of a lot more expensive. I realized my mistake when the cashier had to ask a coworker what the cost code for radishia was. I was too embarrassed to admit that all I wanted was purple cabbage, so I took it home and it sat in the veggie drawer until it rotted and I guiltily threw it away.
Then I made dinner for everyone on Sunday. I nailed the Thai chicken (whew! -- Nicole did help, though), but when I went to cook the rice, Nicole just about blew a top.
"Don't you have regular rice?" she asked
"This is regular rice!" I said as I stared at the box.
"Hey. Retard. That's instant rice!" She laughed.
"Aren't all rices instant?!" I questioned.
I honestly had no idea there was anything other than instant rice. Really? And it takes 20 minutes to cook? Holy cow, that's a long time!
That's pretty much why I don't speak up in class. I'm hideously embarrassed. Just so ya know, I am getting better. I made a total kick-butt sautéed chicken with pasta last night. Sure it took me three hours to make it (when it probably should have taken an hour), but it was amazing!
Post Date: Friday, October 5, 2007
Post Title: Lessons from a Wino
I'm really enjoying my wine class, even though it's far more difficult than I expected -- turns out we aren't there just to enjoy a good glass of wine. We actually have to know why it's a good glass and dissect where it comes from based on totally obscure bits of information. But I thought I'd share what I've learned so far: 1. I'm better at blindly identifying what microwave meal my coworkers are cooking than the amount of lychee or anise in a Barolo.
When the people ask you what you smell and all you really want to say is "I smell wine," fake it. For whites, say "apricots." For reds, say "cherry with a hint of vanilla and spice." Even if you're totally wrong, people will think you're brilliant -- or at least my teacher thinks I am.
There are such things as really bad wines. Trust me.
I may actually get participation points for the first time in my life. In all my years in school, I haven't spoken unless called upon, and I generally get low points in participation. But in this class, toward the fourth wine tasting, I found myself raising my hand and saying I smelled tar and tobacco in the Nebbiolo. Since when?!
Saying you're sorry is worth about 40 points. I forgot about a test and bombed it. I wrote an answer for every question no matter how wrong I thought it was. For example, I wrote "pig's bladder" as a fining technique. Two days later, I wrote a long letter of apology to my teacher saying I had "no one to blame but myself," and "I hope this doesn't reflect poorly on me, as I am here to learn."
I passed the exam. I love this class.
Post Date: Thursday, October 25, 2007
Post Title: The Dinner Dilemma In light of the recent fires and the slightly less-than-stellar air quality, I've been sticking indoors and avoiding any extra stops between work and home. Our fridge, which was nearly empty in the first place, is now home to mustard and a molding bowl of sticky rice. It's been a struggle to make dinner, to say the least.
Tuesday night, I offered Chris the following options: rice with powdered mashed potatoes, waffles with no butter or syrup, or Hamburger Helper...with only the "Helper" part.
His choice: Burger King. Whatever. He can't say I didn't try.
Last night I tried to make it up to him, so I made* a roasted chicken with mashed potatoes.
Um, the asterisk is because the chicken was precooked from Albertsons and the mashed potatoes were technically made by the lovely people at Country Crock. Microwavable. You should try them.
My Culinary Arts Chef would cry if he knew.
Title: Married...without Children
Blogging since: February 2004
Post Date: Monday, July 9, 2007