The Almost-Chefs: Foods You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Try Cooking

The idea of cooking a meal tends to fall into one of four categories, depending on the person being asked about it.

 

  1. “Cooking? I love it! I cook for fun, don’t even eat it and don’t care about the waste. I just love the feeling of creating something from nothing.”

 

  1. “Cooking? No. Not happening. I will burn it, it will taste foul, and I know what I like – and that’s takeout and restaurant food.”

 

  1. “Cooking? Well sure I can give it a go. I have some staple recipes that I know how to do reasonably well, but I’ve haven’t had time to try anything more adventurous than that.”

 

  1. “Cooking? I do it because I have to. I hate it, but I know my kids and I should eat fresh food. I despise every second of it, though.”

 

Some of these reactions are displayed by people who there’s not much help for. 1 and 2 are set in their ways. Perhaps 4 could be persuaded to find some joy in their own creations, but it’s unlikely.

 

The real pearl in the oyster here is the third option. A chef who doesn’t know they are one – yet. Someone who cooks for function, so they don’t have the opportunity to experiment.

 

Sound familiar? An enormous number of us fall into this category. We love food, but we don’t have the time to go beyond a few tried-and-tested recipes we know we can rely on. That hesitancy goes beyond the cooking itself; it influences what we choose to cook. We tend to leave aside different ingredients, afraid of cooking them and making a mistake. They become our food White Whales (in the Moby Dick sense… not the eating sense, of course!) [Read more…]

Get The Right Stuff: Equipment You Need Even In A Minimal Kitchen

We all like to think we know our way around our kitchens. For the most part, we do, but let’s be honest. Put your hand up if you’ve never used a kitchen implement for something other than its intended purpose. And if your hand is currently up, I don’t believe you. Sorry, but come on. Surely this is something we’ve all done.

 

Do it often enough, and you can convince yourself that “the right equipment” is something that kitchen supply companies have made up. And don’t get me wrong. You don’t necessarily need a melon baller, a citrus zester or a ravioli crimper.

cantaloupe

Image Credit

 

But if you want to run a modern kitchen, you do need more than just the most basic tools. A minimalist kitchen can be a joy – as long as it’s not so minimal it’s practically empty.

 

Don’t Make Your Pans Pull Double Duty

 

We’ve all been in a hurry and had to press a kitchen implement into a service outside of its usual utility. Maybe the saucepan is in the dishwasher, so you use the skillet to poach an egg. Once in awhile, this approach is okay, but there are reasons we have different pans for different jobs.

 

How thick a pan is, and its shape governs how it will distribute heat and how tidily it will do the job it needs to do. You may want to save space, but you also need to save time – and using a saucepan for a stir fry will just mean you have a more time-consuming task to complete.

 

Use The Right Knife For The Right Job

kitchen-knives

Source

 

When you see knife blocks for sale at low prices, you can easily rebel against the bargain hunter inside. “I know the deal is good, but when will I need a paring knife or a boning knife?”.

 

Fast forward to a few weeks later, when you’re trying to prepare a meal which involves some very fine cutting. A serrated steak knife will make a mess. A large chef’s knife will be too cumbersome. Similarly, picture yourself carving the Thanksgiving turkey next year with a bread knife. Some more helpful tips can save you a lot of time and mess.

 

Protect What You Have

 

Almost as important as having the right implements for a job and using them right, how you protect them will make a difference. For example, a wooden spoon is a great standby in any kitchen. If you wash it in the dishwasher, though, it will spoil before very long. This can lead to it developing grooves in which bacteria can live.

dishes

Source

 

Similarly, a cast iron skillet should never be scrubbed with abrasives or put in the dishwasher. By doing this, you strip the pan’s patina and make it less useful going forward. All you need to do is wash it with hot water and a stiff brush. By taking proper care of your kitchen implements, you don’t need to replace them as often or use alternatives.

 

If you get the right kitchen equipment, it can last you for years and be effective from the first use to the last. It’s worth paying more for the right items – the time and expense it will save you in the future more than pays for the initial outlay.

 

Networks

Dealspotr Bloggin_Mamas_Badge










USFamilyGuide.com
Everywhere