However I love food and I love talking food. You better like reading food or you in the wrong spot sucka!
This entry I would like to talk about using your HEAD in the kitchen. This is a sort of meditation on how to transcend the confines of the cookbook and express yourself practically, lovingly, emotionally (romantically?) with food.
DIRTY TALK BETWEEN MY WIFE AND I
(PAUL)"That's going to be difficult."
(E)"Well I know I want to do a three teired cake with flowers, I am not going to do fondant, I will use a vegan buttercream recipe...but what should I make the flowers out of?"
(P)"Can't you pipe them with royal icing?"
(E)"No sweety, it has egg whites, it needs to be VEGAN."
(P)"Oh... well how about Marzipan...you know a real simple mix of food color, confectioners sugar and almond paste...they might even set up nice and hard, similar to a royal icing."
Hope that wasn't too graphic and didn't make you uncomfortable or maybe a little hot and bothered. Things can get pretty steamy when me and the wifey get on the food topic. We love food, I the savory end, and she, the more sweet and confectionery end. The great thing is that we are both well versed in the others areas of expertise....this however is not about us. It is about cake.
So she makes this cake, which due to VERY hot weather was more than challenging to make. She succesfully pulls this cake off however, also driving 5 hours in a car with it for my brothers Fiancees bridal shower. All thanks to some thought for food. My wife had the courage (and extreme good fortune) to confied in her more than capable, very handsome husband and propose a problem. She had never attempted a cake of such magnitude and with such dietary restrictions. She (a redhead) was determined to try her best and achieve her goal. She worked long and hard on this project (while tending to a very hot and angry infant) and the end result was stellar, she even let me help with some of the flowers! All thanks to some brain power.
Food meditation #1: It is only food.
Something I tell every young aspiring chef working under me. Many people have the misconceptions that food is too tricky and that they can be easily conquered by their food. They are scared of messing up. Why? The worst that can happen is you have to eat some real shitty tasting food. Is that it? So far there is no police force around that arrests you every time you screw up in the kitchen, so suck it up, stop being a baby and star cooking! Food does what YOU make it do. if you put flour, water, sugar and yeast together they will make some sort of bread. If you keep them seperate they will not do anything. UNDERSTOOD?
CREATING A DISH
Here's one on cooking methods. Approaching your dish with some thought into how you will cook an item.
Look at food in a different light. If you think of a type of food you would like to prepare, think about each individual ingredient as their own meal. Think of how they'll blend with one another. Think why they were put together in the first place. Think of how you could make it better. Remember your basic cooking techniques and temperatures. If you are going to read a recipe, treat it like a story and read it until you have a good interpretation of the end result before even cooking. Fresh ingredients always mean better flavor and keep with the cooking techniques of the country while cooking ethnic cuisine.
IT'S ONLY FOOD. IT'S ONLY FOOD. IT'S ONLY FOOD.
Now go and think of someting to make, and I want an email from each an every one of you readers with stories and pictures. firstname.lastname@example.org The one I feel is most creative is going to have their dish' picture on the next post. What a prize. I am getting tired, my typing has slowed and gets increasingly less legible. Goodnight and cook well.