Monday, 19 September 2011
Bridget Jones with Sit Up Britain, looking for the tuna
The first time I went to a cooking class, the instructor said, "Cooking requires keen attention to detail, nuance, and the ability to be present with your food at all times." And I was like, "Er, I'm just gonna go ..." Right? Because those are not three things you're ever going to find on my resume.
Excepting the part where humans need to food to stay alive, I never even really understood the allure of cooking — until I saw Kat work her way around a kitchen. It's not just that her food is The Most Delicious; it's that she's a magic-maker, the way she moves around with such confidence and ease and skill. Every time I reread Half-Blood Prince, I think about how Kat would have been the best potions make in the history of Hogwarts. Even Snape would have been forced to concede her superiority.
One day I hope she'll let me be her sous-chef again, and so I've hammered away at the cooking thing, trying to make delicious stuffs that are also not poisonous.
Here are the five most important things I've learned about cooking:
1) Cheese is the cure. For serious. If you fuck up something, just cover it in cheese. If the recipe calls for 1/2 a cup of cheese, use six hundred cups of cheese. Cheese is the most delicious thing, and therefore: more of it.
2) The other cure is lemon. The acid from lemons calms down soups that are too beefy or desserts that are too sweet. And they perk up most meats and vegetables after you're done cooking!
3) Get yourself a good knife. Yes, it's true that sometimes you will chop at your fingers in such a way that you're going to need stitches, but that's a risk you've got to take. You can do lots of things with a good knife, but you can't do shit with bad knife.
4) The other best cooking tool is your hands! You can actually learn to feel when stuff is done, and also it's a fun time to mix up things with your hands like a little kid making mud pies.
5) Sometimes your beagle might eat several raw steaks or a whole pound cake or an entire bowl of gravy. But guess what? It won't kill her. Probably.
Posted by Heather Anne Hogan at 7:04 pm