June 5, 2008

Deal Breakers

No, not the no-longer-a-Dr. Phil kind. Recipe deal breakers. This piece in the NYT is great, and especially timely given my current predisposition to cooking all the damned time now.

Recipes freak me out. Always have. I have this big, beautiful Julia Child baking book. I do not bake. Ever. Anything. My mother was a fabulous baker, and I was a mere consumer. But this book is gorgeous, and I bought it for the food porn value. I look at the pictures. I guarantee I couldn't make a single thing in it. Wouldn't even try.

I gently clip recipes out of the newspaper almost daily. I have a file folder that hold them. I don't make them, I merely keep them and sometimes look at them. The article talks about deal breakers, for real cooks, being things like obscure gadgets, hugely time consuming processes, or odd, odd ingredients. I call a deal breaker spices not already in my cupboard (which leaves out everything but salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaves and parsley and cinnamon), anything that has to be made the day before, or anything that says 'spread mixture evenly'.

I tried to make a lemon meringue pie once. Once. Years ago. I bought the crust (sorry, Mom), bought the lemon stuff, and followed instructions for whipping egg whites. That's what meringue is, doncha know. It said to 'spread mixture evenly' over the top. Well, sure. I got these little blobs, meringue islands that wouldn't join up, and as I tugged with the spatula the lemon got all caught up in the fight. Though I was assured it 'tasted just fine', I don't think I got any points for presentation.

We were watching Food Network last night (house favourite), and some guy was grilling sandwiches in a Panini press. We decided it looked the same as the George Foreman grill in the basement, and that we could adapt. Experimenting is everything, right? Before we could discuss further, we got into Iron Chef Lobster, and the discussion soon lapsed into a pretty intense debate on just when the chefs actually find out what the secret ingredient will be. They make the freakiest recipes from the craziest ingredients, and there is just no way all that stuff could be sitting around, hoping to be chosen for Lobster Truffle ice cream with a Basil sidecar, or whatever they call it.

Could be worse. They could be doing Iron Chef in my kitchen. Secret ingredient: canned tuna. Available extras: romaine lettuce, salt, some old vanilla extract, one kinda soggy green pepper, a hard little lime, lots of garlic and some arrowroot cookies.

Now that's a kitchen challenge I'd like to see.


Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

I believe you are watching the wrong shows, nay, the wrong station, Lorraine.

Based upon your description of available items, I think you need MacGyver.

June 05, 2008 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol Cookie Salad

step one.. take can of tuna open and drain.

step two.. prepare romaine lettuce in bite size pieces.

step three.. take soggy green pepper, cut off bad pieces,then dice. Take a good garlic glove and chop really fine.

step four.. place green pepper in bowl, and drizzle olive oil (I know you have this in the house) squeese hard little lime over everything, take little bits of lime seed out and marinate for about 5 minutes.

step five .. crumble two or three arrowroot cookies.

step 5 .. Break up tuna in bite size pieces, add to romaine lettuce, take your little marinade and mix together. Sprinkle crumbled arrowroot cookies over the top. and presto... Cookie Salad!

LOL.. when you have been hungry as a child,you will create anything from nothing, and enjoy it!

June 05, 2008 12:26 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

I don't think I could ever eat canned tuna again after this...

And I was about to make lunch, too.

I'm assuming that the recipe came from one of the Twisted Sisters??

June 05, 2008 12:34 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I'm thinking it did too, though Roz would insist I use some of the rice wine vinegar or sesame oil or some other stupid thing she knows I have here as well. She knows because she brought it here.

Ozzie, be glad I left out the withered zuchinni and stale rice krispies - they're already in the little green bin.

June 05, 2008 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the little green bin? I was just about to come over for supper. Any use for some Oreo's?

June 05, 2008 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey don't be blaming the Twisted Sisters for that, 'err, recipe. Not me.

June 05, 2008 6:23 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

Don't be insulted by the name, Roz. A term of endearment, I assure you! In our family, we refer to the four sisters as The Sisterhood, or 'hood, for short.

So, if not you, then... whom?

June 06, 2008 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Original Canadian recipe
Boiled Owl
remove feathers, gizzards, head.
(you can save for soup stock if you wish)

Place Owl in pot, boil 20 minutes add four minutes for every pound over 35.
Add Salt and seasonings to taste.

Advice from same native cookbook;

June 06, 2008 3:05 PM  

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