It occurred to me this morning that it might be helpful to go back a few steps and set the scene a bit. There are a few new visitors here, and even those who have visited before, I’ve never talked extensively about my cooking skill or my kitchen.
My cooking skills are about average I think. I’ve been cooking on my own long enough to have learned a few things (like timing), and I’m comfortable with my ability to make pretty much anything out of a standard cookbook.
Here’s the thing though – I don’t usually cook (strictly) from a cookbook.
Cookbooks for me are more like places to get good ideas. I find a recipe I like, and I almost always tweak it. Sometimes I go way beyond just taking out the onion. I don’t measure (not really anyway), I “eyeball it” a lot. I almost feel a little embarrassed by admitting that, given that I have some truly fantastic cookbooks. Please note: I am not doing my usual “tweaking” thing for Ruhlman’s Twenty. I am following each recipe as written, adjusting only for quantity since I’m cooking for two.
My kitchen may not rise to the level of “dream kitchen”, but it’s still a great kitchen. It’s large for the size of place my husband I live in, so storage isn’t really a problem. The appliances are in good working order, although the stove top and the oven date back to the 1960′s (a real-life testament to the old adage “they just don’t make them like they used to”).
My pots and pans are brand-spanking-new, which I swear is a complete coincidence. I had cooked for years on a set that my husband bought as a bachelor from Costco. They served him well for 12 years, 10 of them with me. I would have even kept a few of them, but they had begun to warp. Let me tell you, there is nothing more annoying than using a pan that does not lay flat. So during the holiday season, we bought a new set of pots and pans. You may not be able to tell in this picture, but we settled on the Calphalon “Unison” set. The red dutch-oven-and-pan is by Le Creuset, which is also new as I received it for Christmas. It performed beautifully the other night when I made Coq au Vin.
That concludes the tour of the kitchen. See you all later today – I’ll be covering the Acid section.