Remember the Facebook meme that is floating around the internet? I did mine last week – it even got quoted (see towards the end of the linked post). But I love memes, and Kim of A Mighty Appetite tagged me via Facebook for a variation – 25 Random Things – With a Kitchen Twist. And of course, I couldn’t resist.
You know the drill – there are rules, which,I don’t always follow – though this time I may tag a few people.
1. I did not grow up cooking. My mom is a good cook, but I don’t remember having much interest in the kitchen or in cooking. I did like to bake though.
2. Now I bake very rarely but cook often.
3. I only started cooking when I graduated from college and figured out that if I wanted to eat yummy healthy food and not go broke, I had better learn.
4. I am a huge proponent of organic and local eating and I try to balance both considerations when I shop.
5. My stove is old but very much still the little engine that can.
6. Though my oven is really cranky and uneven.
7. That’s one reason that I don’t make bread, though in theory I would like to be one of those people who makes their own bread.
8. The other reason is that I love love love the sunflower bread that Atwater’s sells at the Dupont Freshfarm Market. See here for pretty pictures.
9. I love the idea of a slow cooker, but I can’t bring myself to get one.
10. Some of it is space constraints, but some of it is that I like being home when something is cooking – I like tasting it as it’s cooking, I like to adjust seasonings – heck, I just like being there. Some of it is that no matter how convenient, it freaks me out a little that a machine does all the work.
11. I also love the idea of a bread machine, but have the same issue about the machine doing all the work. Also, see #9. Atwater’s spelt bread is yummy too.
12. There are some items that I will only buy if they are organic: potatoes, most fruits and dark leafy greens, meat, milk, eggs, yogurt, honey.
13. There’s some time savers that I used for years that I no longer rely on – bottled ginger paste, chicken stock and cut-up chicken pieces.
14. When I figured out you could grate ginger into a paste, the extra couple of minutes to do it stopped seeming like a problem. Same with chopping garlic come to think of it.
15.Last year I decided that I would stop buying chicken parts, but instead buy a whole chicken and learn to cut it up into pieces. Organic chickens are a lot cheaper per pound than organic chicken parts and ultimately seem to taste better.
16. I can now cut up a whole chicken in about 15 minutes. It takes me another 15 to freeze the parts I won’t immediately use. I don’t think I can ever go back, despite the extra labor.
17. I also make chicken broth with the leftover bones. I don’t have the time or inclination to actually follow a recipe – I just boil the bones along with any herbs I have, and I add parley stems I save and freeze for this use.
18. It’s weird how even though there’s some labor involved in skipping those shortcuts, I don’t mind it, nor does it take a lot of time.
19. It’s even weirder considering how much I love quick-cooking meals.One of my favorite meals is sauteed shrimp in extra virgin olive oil, doused in lemon juice and served over a pile of wilted baby spinach.
20. Pre-washed organic baby spinach is one of my favorite convenience foods.
21. Sushi is my favorite food to eat out – I am still struggling on reconciling overfishing with loving sushi and fish in general.
22. I don’t think Starbucks is evil. I love how it’s made cafe culture more accessible in places where no other coffeeshops exist.
23. Though I really don’t like their coffee.
24. I am generally not a snooty cook – my cookbook collection shows that. Chez Panisse Vegetables shares a shelf with several Rachael Ray books.
25. Rachael Ray is kind of like Starbucks, come to think of it. She made the concept of at-home eating more current and accessible to many, kind of like what Starbucks did with coffee.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers