Captain’s Log 6,088
I decided to consider (how about that – deciding to consider) putting more effort into my cooking. I was told the other day that my food is basic. Not in those terms, but that’s what was implied. It serves the purpose to nourish cells. Hmmmmm….. I remember the time when my musical performances were rated as “serviceable” by some judge on a panel. I lost $10,000 worth of funding because of that remark, but that’s a lot of water under the bridge and I am no longer a live performer.
But I still have to eat. So I am considering what I might need to do to step up my game. I know I will need a lot more stuff. A pan for this and a skillet for that. I have a slotted olive spoon, but I doubt if that’s enough to make the grade. I will probably need one of those nutmeg shavers and a garlic press. Even though I DESPISE garlic, I should probably cook with on this quest for gourmet chef-dom. I have a lovely butter dish (compliments of Montana Penny), but I wonder if my guests find that deceitful in some way. How can someone with such a lovely butter dish be such lame sauce in the kitchen?
So I checked my oils. Both my canola oil and my olive oil are rancid. I don’t like to cook with oil. I use it so rarely it spoils. I don’t like to dip things in oil. Basically, I don’t like fried food. But I guess that will need to change if I am to be a chef. Someone suggested this.
The no-sticky spray stuff
Every can of Pam contains a propellant. I did a little research. The propellant is….butane! Butane is a flammable substance used in cigarette lighters! I am NOT going to put that in my food! And I don’t want to hear about how it dissipates and becomes harmless. It was harmful when it went into the can. That’s enough for me.
On the rare occasions I fry anything, I use a small amount of real butter. Butter is great…..no additives, no chemicals, and it can live in my fridge for months without spoiling. Everything I cook is fresh. I don’t cook anything out of a box. I use real milk, organic free-range eggs, butter, real cheeses, beans, nuts, real rice, honey, yogurt, kefir, potatoes, fresh veggies, real fruit, etc. I make cookies (rarely) from scratch. I make cornbread (even more rarely) from scratch too. I have salad dressing on hand for guests, but I rarely use it myself. I prefer a simple plate of greens with some tasty tomatoes and dried fruit on the plate with a small sprinkle of pink salt from the Himalayas. Naked salad.
You know, the more I think about this, the more pleased I am with my simple, unsophisticated food tastes. I can survive easier than most on that proverbial desert island. With a meatless diet already in place, I could survive for months without complaining. I love the taste of uncomplicated Jarlsberg on a Ritz cracker. I don’t need to dip it in kumquat compote first.
You know, maybe my tastebuds are MORE developed than other people because I really can take away great joy by eating uncooked baby carrots as a side dish. Or Rice Krispies for dinner. I can pick up the subtle nuance of food in its primal state. Maybe I am not such a peasant after all! Maybe I am a highly-evolved throwback Neanderthal.
Me no like dipping sauces!
No, the more I think on this, the more I know I am a disaster as a gourmet. I have been made fun of so many times that I don’t even want to really try cooking anymore. People make fun of my dancing too. I could do a double whammy and polka while I cook oatmeal! But only for myself. I don’t want anyone to see me do that.
But somehow I seem to fool people into enjoying meals at my house. When they come to my house for dinner, the focus is on the camaraderie at the table. The joy is in the stories that build community within us. People do not come to my house for the food, the come to my house for the experience of sharing. And they always leave with well-fed souls. Wow. That is so much more important, at least to me.
So to hell with the nutmeg shaver things and the strawberry hullers! To hell, I say! Even if I serve peanut butter sandwiches, that should be fine. I am not in the food business. I am in the appreciation of fellows on this journey business. I will never get there with food. So I have to settle for fun and engagement.
And naked salad.