Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jack of all trades, master of none.

That's me. i love to dabble. i love to try new crafts, new "cool tools," new products. Over the years i have knit, crocheted, mosaic-ed, made jewelry, played at photography, card making, scrapbooking, rubber stamping, painted pictures and painted ceramic plates. The knitting has stuck, the crochet eluded me (the number of stitches kept changing on me against my will.) The mosaic work got me through a tough time of closing down the office i managed. If the light is bright enough and i'm wearing my reading glasses i can still make jewelry. i still love photography and scrapbooking. Stuff comes and goes, and some stays.

But none of it have i mastered.

i just want to have the same assurance that i know something inside and out, like the judges on Bravo's Top Chef.

i want to be able to bandy about phrases like, "I just really wanted more acid with that." Huh. What does that even mean? i don't have any idea, but with all the judges nodding their heads sagely, i take it as gospel. "Oh. Too bad she didn't add an acid to that, that'll hurt her chances." i want to be cool enough to casually say, in the face of amazing culinary proficiency, "That was inedible."

Really? If they want "inedible" they should sit down at my dinner table sometime! Recently i made spaghetti. Well, for starters, i didn't have the right noodles, so i used brown rice curly noodles (what are those called?) It's against my "no more than 4 ingredients" recipe rule to make my own sauce, and frankly Ragu does a much better job than i. So i pulled out a pot, threw in the hamburger to cook, and wandered off to do something else (terribly important like Snood, i'm sure.) That got a bit more done than i wanted, but oh well, i'll just chop up the meat, we'll pretend it was grilled and ignore the dark bits. i then opened the jar of Ragu and dumped it in, again wandering off on some errand, wandering back when i realized the smell of the mix had changed--i had made what i have learned from the cooking folks at Food Network is a "reduction." However, i don't think that's the usual method for spaghetti sauce, but whatever. i'm not starting over.

When i served it to my dear husband, he said, "Is this a little overdone?"

"Yes," i said, nodding sagely, "the noodles are underdone. The meat and the sauce is overdone."Like i said, those Top Chef judges should break bread with our family sometime.

But i would love to just *KNOW* so much i could throw out phrases that would make others in The Know nod their heads. i once knew that much about drug testing and databases, when i worked. Unfortunately, if you try to share the ins and outs of software and urine Ph, people tend to kind of glaze over. A different sort of "nodding," more along the lines of "nodding off."

This is the "Duck with truffle" made by Top Chef Season 3 winner, Hung. i have never in 30-odd years of cooking made a plate of anything that looked this together. i was going to put a photo next to it of my spaghetti, but that would just be too cruel. For all of us.

2 comments:

equichick8 said...

Do you know Julie, in Greece or Spain or somewhere out there, that spaghetti sauce "reduction" you made for dinner the other night would be a delicacy. So don't sweat it...

Besides, you have been feeding you, your husband and your family a small while. Has anyone gotten food poisoning?? No Way. And it's still more honorable to feed your family than it is to let your husband do all the cooking, like I do. (Alright, he does like to cook...)
Just tonight I was thinking of all that frozen chicken in my freezer and wondering what the heck to do with it. No inspiration comes to mind so it remains frozen for yet another night! How long O Chicken before you are lost to freezer burn?

Besides all this, I've tasted your cooking and I like it. Favorites are: anything you BBQ, any meat and veg you pan fry/steam with seasonings, your most delicious buttercream icing (da bomb)etc.
(Meaning I could go on)
love ya!

jle said...

You're so funny! You notice i went ahead and ate the spaghetti anyway-- And you're right, no food poisoning, no one has starved, and trust me, if my husband liked to cook i would let him at it!

OOH--maybe you should throw some frozen chicken in a pot with some water and seasonings and start yourself some lovely soup with vegies--you could freeze some for later, maybe in portions--and be prepared for the cool fall days--