27 August 2007

Screwing Up

It is my sincere hope that by reading this blog, you all begin to understand that even the “experts” have thunderous failures. I do have moments of terrific stupidity in the kitchen. If you ask the people I've cooked with (or the people living with me), they can confirm this many times over. Early on, when I was learning to time the addition of spices, I would burn them horribly. I have misjudged how much oil is needed and ended up with what looked like the Exxon Valdez come to visit my dinner table. I have made errors in salting to the point where my mother would ask me if I was looking to cook it or pickle it!

When I was learning to wield the knife properly, I would regularly slice a finger or two (or three!), depending on how clumsy or inept I was that day. I didn't understand that the only safe knife is a very sharp knife! There have been disasters when I'd chop the vegetables into weird sizes (because I was still figuring out how to get them to be uniform), and ended up with half-cooked/over cooked disasters. My mother and I have both gotten distracted for a second or two too long, and started fires in pots. Thank heavens for baking soda!

There was this one time, when I was craving fried food fiercely! I got everything prepared, and made two sets of the stuff. One was using gram flour, and the other was using rice flour. My mother preferred gram flour (or so she said), and I was feeling bitter about making two sets. I made sure to heavily spice the rice flour version, and made the gram flour version sort of plain. Of course, the rice flour version came out wonderfully, but the gram flour one was horrific! It was not attractive.

I've done some fairly stupid things, and you know I'll share with you the future stupid things I'm bound to do in the future. Just be reassured that even people who have been cooking for a long time have failures and screw ups. It's not a bad thing. It's those horrific mistakes that teach you the most! If nothing else, you know what you don't like, and can continue to work toward what you do like. Hopefully, you'll let me know when you find out what you like.