Personal definition of a gourmet cook: someone whose idea of fun is perfecting the minutest detail of a recipe and then gets an endorphin high by sniffing the resulting culinary delight. Eating it isn’t totally necessary, but watching the expressions of delight on others’ faces as they savor is crucial to the endorphin experience.
I actually know someone who loves to peel and chop and slice and dice and toss and swirl food ingredients without end.
She says it’s therapeutic.
Watching her, or doing it endlessly myself, makes me want to toss things across the room. Or swirl right into my recliner.
If there’s anyone else out there who doesn’t have a close relationship with kitchen appliances and grocery ingredients, come sit by me.
Since I don’t love being in the kitchen, I shouldn’t claim to arrive at anything close to gourmand status. But at least people who eat my food don’t realize that I almost never spend more than an hour a day cooking, and often it’s half an hour.
(At least they haven’t said so, and they haven’t asked for enzymes or anything.)
Over here at my house, there’s more value in presentation than preparation. I guess you could say I cook the way The Fly Lady cleans. Fifteen minutes at a time. What I love is to spend time making menu charts and finessing meal preparation speed, because that’s more fun than actually cooking.
That’s why having a DIY cookbook is important. Not very many cookbooks imitate a time management spreadsheet, because the people who write cookbooks love to cook and don’t care how long it takes. They’re the Venn diagrams of hunting and gathering and blending and tasting and circling in on ingredients that is the gourmand’s delight.
My Venn (am I, perhaps, misusing that word? I am so unscientific) circles around paper art, not food art. Like the cookbook I made for my daughter so she could also cook without knowing how. She would never have entered the kitchen if an old fashioned recipe had stared her in the face.
Source: Google Images
In this “reciepe” the cook stirred the whites of eggs last beeten to a stiff froth. What happened to the egg yellows? She says to sift the flour and baking powder three times. Sift? With what? And what do you do with the rest of the ingredients?
Betty Crocker to the rescue. She gives step by step directions on everything. For example, if you don’t know your way around a cow, she even has a diagram for that.
Cooking With Cow 101
Who knew there were all those parts to a cow? For that matter, I wonder how old my children were before they realized their taco meat came from AN ANIMAL that had moving eyes and horns and hair and a swishing tail at one time. Awwwww. And then – ewwwww! (The first time a niece saw a holstein she said, “Look, mom, look! Dalmatian cows!)
Have you ever had hanging tender? Butcher steaks? Shoulder clod? Top-bottom-eye? I don’t think I’ve ever met any of those in the grocery store.
when I started serious cooking, at the young age of 25, even Betty Crocker kept me in suspense. For example, I still blame her for the rock hard pie dough I served to guests the first time I attempted pie in my very own kitchen. One guest even asked for a chain saw. Betty should have told me that there was a flour for breads and a flour for pie crust, and they were not one and the same. And the part where you mix only till moistened? Capital Letters, in bold, because how was I to know the dire consequences of kneading pie crust like bread dough? One mixer in the kitchen, so in fairness, everything gets the same treatment.
Raise your hand — how many of you finally learned how to make pie crust at a Tupperware party?
Yep. Good old Tupperware lady cut in the shortening, added the water, put the lid on “really tightly” and began to shake that bowl until we heard a thunk, thunk, thunk. Like a washing machine with an unbalanced load. Voila! When she opened the lid, there lay one ball of mixed-just-right, flaky pie crust dough.
Of course I bought that magic bowl! Who wouldn’t? The pictures on the pie recipes she handed out were insanely gorgeous. Leaves on a fall apple pie, browned to perfection? The artist in me just knew this was the answer. Fool people into loving the pie by making it beautiful. The steak knives on the side of the dessert plate? Just a minor necessity.
DIY Easy Gourmet Recipe Album
Given the above scenario, when my daughter reached the age of wanting to cook by herself, I knew that my recipe shorthand, which had greatly improved by then, would not work for her. Just as it had not worked for my son when he baked chocolate chip cookies the first time. He added his version of my listed ingredient, “1 t b.p.” Have you ever eaten flat cookies with black pepper? I hadn’t either. That recipe didn’t make it into the “family traditions” recipe keeper.
We won’t overwhelm you with the whole DIY Recipe Book today. We’ll extend the fun for a few Wednesdays, so you can slowly get used to Speed Cooking. They say you have to slowly reset your brain to declutter your life the KonMari way, and after it’s reset, you’ll never go back. It makes sense, then, that a person would have to slowly learn speed cooking.
So today we’ll give you a peek at the Foreword to Kim’s Recipe Book.
Did that surprise you?
As in, what does that have to do with cooking and cookbooks?
I happen to think it has a lot to do with it. This is the Foreword to Going Forward.
I didn’t want to write just an easy cookbook for her, I wanted her to remember what makes things easier in all of life, which will automatically extend to the kitchen.
Would you want a cookbook like this from your mother?
To record your mother’s, grandmother’s and now your traditional recipes, we recommend the Annie Dandelion Dreams Recipe Album. (Sorry, the above Forward to my daughter is not in it!!)
Disclaimer: I don’t endorse every belief of The Fly Lady or Marie Kondo, but some of their ideas are awesome.