Monday, July 15, 2013

To Cook or Not To Cook...or maybe the question is...

Here I go again...starting off with a weird title.
So I guess I need to explain...but first...thanks so much to everyone for their responses to my Super Simple Survey.  It gave me lots of food for thought, so to speak.

And, here's one of those thoughts - maybe it's not about the cooking or even the food, maybe what it's really about is how you go about the cooking and thinking about the food and the process.

Consider get home from work and you are dead tired.  The last thing you want to think about is making something to eat.  Cooking sounds like a death sentence and certainly the last thing you would do for fun.  Dragging yourself into the kitchen to stare into the refrigerator or the pantry with those sunken eyes that just seem to spin in your head as you come up with, well, nothing.  Finally, you grab a cracker and a glass of water and go to bed.  If you have kids, you give them a cracker, too.  Well...I think I may have to go jump out the window myself...This kind of mindset leads to books like this!  YIKES!!!

How about an alternative get home from work and yes, you are dead tired once more.  This time, you turn on some music, pour a glass of wine and head to the bedroom.  Now wait a minute...we are going back to the kitchen!  Change out of your work clothes into something more conducive to a relaxed and comfortable experience.  I pants and flip flops!  Now, you return to the kitchen.  Slightly refreshed and certainly in a better frame of mind.  Instead of staring into the refrigerator for inspiration...because believe me, it does not exist inside that box, you consider what would make you feel good about this whole situation.  Sometimes it might be ordering pizza or Chinese takeout but let's stay with this vision of actually cooking something.  You remember some things that you have learned recently like...start with a meat or fish or even vegetable that you really like to eat, then you think about how to fix it so it tastes even better.  Maybe you do a quick saute in a little olive oil with garlic and onion and then make an even quicker pan sauce with one of your favorite herbs,a little wine (that you're drinking, of course) and finish it with a little butter or cream or cheese.  Then you stop to consider how great the music sounds, the wine tastes and how much better you're feeling.  Wow!  I already feel much better than that jumping out of the window thing.  Woohoo...we're having some fun, now!

No, I do not know who this person is but she sure is happy!'s really not about cooking or's about the attitude.  You can cook anything and make it a pain or you can make it a pleasure.  Let me give you another example...
When you watch cooking shows or just watch people's boring, right?  The actual cooking is super boring.  In my classes, when we have to wait for things to finish cooking....Lordy!  Takes for evah!  That's because nothing is happening except cooking.  So the reason we watch cooking shows or take cooking classes is to be entertained (not just to learn something although I like to think that you learn a little bit in my classes).  If you watch the online cooking courses, pick one, it doesn't matter which one, they're boring!  I want to poke my eyes out!  It isn't about the cooking or the's about the person doing it.  Again, a fer instance...I would watch Michael Symon make mud...he could just mix dirt and water all day as far as I'm concerned because he's so cool and attitude...for days!  Not to mention, he's cute AND bald which is a huge bonus for me.  Now, when I watch him cook real food, do I learn anything?  Sometimes.  But he mostly cooks stuff I already know about so why do I watch?  Because of the "feel" of his show or the "feel" of how he cooks.  And, yes, he is cute and would probably be very fun to party with but I also watch Alex Guarnaschelli because of the " C" factor...not because she's cute.  Although, I think she would be fun to party with, too.

See what I mean?
Now, here's the rub.  In order to create the coolness factor, you've got to do A LOT of WORK and spend A LOT of TIME not to mention MONEY on cookbooks and cooking references and utensils and heavy equipment and food magazines and watching food shows with lots of trial and error involved.  Notice I didn't say anything about going to culinary school?  No, because you don't need to go to school to create this.  But you do need all this other stuff because you need to have your own library (for lack of a better word) to pull from.
What if someone did all that work FOR you?  What if all that information was in one spot for you to refer to without you doing much of anything?
I know...sounds crazy doesn't it?  And, since I am just a little crazy, I'm going to have an answer to those "what ifs" in the very near future. So keep the faith, baby.  Help is on its way...
And as always...
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Come join the fun and take a class with us!  Visit my website at Urban Kitchen on Cherry Street and check out the Class Calendar.

And, if you haven't already...don't forget to read my July 4th post and answer The Girl's Super Simple Survey!

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