Saturday, May 30, 2009

Challenges We're Facing

As I take on this project, there are some challenges ahead:

1) Bryan's food preferences: My husband hates with a fiery passion onions, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. This was a challenge initially in our marriage since everything my family ever cooked had onions and/or tomatoes. I've come to accept it and only occassionally slip one of the offending ingredients.
2) My hestitation of food I've never had before. E.g. Rhubarb. I don't know what it is, how to pick it out, or what the hell to do with it. There aren't too many food ingredients that I've never tried before, but I've come across a few in the book and sooner or later I'm going to have to deal with it.
3) Ingredients: Traditionally, I shy away from recipes that either have a lot of ingredients, or use ingredients I'm not familiar with (see above). This is something I'm trying to get over. I've started reading the recipe and skipping right on over the ingreidents list. This has helped since a dash of different spices can make a simple recipe look daunting.
4) Shady Schnucks: We live in Midtown Memphis. Our local grocery store selection is not good. We have several choices near our house and I will only shop at one of them. Its a much smaller grocery store compared to the size of the one my parents shop at in the 'burbs. While it is convinent if you need to get in and out fast, but in terms of selection, it can be quiet limited. There is an Easy Way for fresh produce and the farmers market on Saturdays in the summer. But finding meat and other miscellaneous items can sometimes be tricky..
5) If you can't stand the heat...: We purchased our first house a few months ago. Its an awesome older home. We love it. The kitchen appliances have been updated and the stove has made more than one person extremely jealous. However, it doesn't have central AC. It gets hot in Memphis in the summer. And it gets hot in the kitchen when cooking, especially when I use the stove. There have been several times lately when I've been sweating before I can get dinner on the table. I'm a wimp and I hate with a fiery passion to sweat. The ceiling fans (there are two) can only do so much. The current plan of action is to purchase an extra fan and save for AC.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The beginning

A few months ago I purchased How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I started off reading it like a book. I have this weird habit of reading cookbooks like books. I love reading recipes, but its very rare for me to actually cook something from it. I have a shelf full of cookbooks I've only cooked one or two recipes from, if that. I subscribe to many cooking blogs, but rarely try the recipes they endorse.

This book is different though. I've tried probably 10-15 recipes already. This is unheard of. The husband and I started a new game when I didn't have a clue what we wanted for dinner. He would choose a number at random and then we'd flip to that page and cook something on or near it. Its fun and takes the pressure off what to cook.

I've fallen for this book. I lovingly read each and every page, marking pages for future cooking. Mr. Bittman has a way of making everything, even the random things I would never consider cooking, sound simple to prepare and delicious.

So I came up with this crazy idea of cooking everything in this book. With each recipe the author gives variations to the recipe. I won't promise to do every variation, but I promise to do one variation of every recipe. It may take me 10 years, or maybe just one, we'll find out. I won't promise to post everyday, I like to eat out occasionally. But I will stay devoted to this blog and keeping it updated with new experiences.