After spending three—or is it four? —weeks practicing social isolation with my family, I've dusted off the old cookbook library, sharpened my knives and started developing my cooking skills. My stovetop has seen its share of miserable defeats and sublime victories in this process, and I'd like to share some of these experiences. If just one of my humiliations helps someone dodge a culinary bullet, then my efforts will not be in vain.
The Sous Chef
My daughter is almost three years old, but she's already joined me in many of my home cooking endeavors. We got her a little step ladder so she can stand level with the countertop, and I've been impressed with her resolve. Lately, she's become interested in each ingredient before it gets mixed together—which is her very favorite part of the process. I've tried to warn her that ingredients like raw garlic and onion don't taste very good until they get cooked, but she insisted nonetheless. Surprisingly, she didn't mind the bits of minced garlic in small doses, but the diced onion rang her bell. Anyone who has had a toddler violently reject the food in her mouth will know the pitiful scene that ensued: Scrunched up face, spluttering lips and an urgent flurry of fingers trying to scrape every last remnant of the offending morsel from her tongue while a look of pure betrayal spreads across her face. All in all, the experience has made her a bit more cautious when it comes to what's on the cutting board.
Why I Need a Blender
If you were wondering just how often I go out to eat, the fact that I don't own a blender should be a pretty good indicator. Since I don't have this crucial piece of kitchen hardware, I'm usually good about avoiding recipes that need one. A few nights ago, I had a lapse in judgement while in the middle of a cheddar and veggie soup that I was attempting. I had my stock going, my veggies were thinly sliced, and I had just added a cup of cheddar cheese when I realized that all of this needed to be pureed in a blender. After a moment of blinding panic, I furiously searched through my arsenal of hand mixer attachments. I have one that serves as a second-string immersion blender, but all that did was create little rings of squash and potatoes that hung from the attachment's stem like gaudy bracelets on the arm of an aging socialite. Unable to puree the ingredients, we attempted to eat the soup as it was. The end result was little more than flaccid veggies in hot onion water. Needless to say, hit me up if you have a good blender recommendation.