Monday, January 18, 2010

Is it Just Me?

...or is it sad that frozen turkeys now come with a gravy packet included? "Pour drippings and contents of gravy packet into a saucepan and mix well over medium heat."
Have we forgotten how to make a simple gravy? Um, meat drippings, flour, water, cornstarch if desired...maybe a little bullion (or a few cubes of frozen bone broth) to round it out...this is not a difficult thing to make...is it?
In the last couple of months I think I have seen a dozen facebook status updates that reference the person taking on some new and 'elaborate' cooking endeavor (often after watching "Julie and Julia"), and then I see what they are making: quiche, alfredo, a turkey... No, you're right, these are not necessarily beginner projects. But they are not terribly advanced either...most are more in the intermediate range. In and of itself there's nothing wrong with that, but some of these people are, well, a lot older than me. Women who have been stay-at-home-moms for a couple of decades, and yet have never attempted to cook anything complicated.
I am not suggesting that everyone needs to be a gourmet chef, but we all have to eat every day, so why would we not at least make quality food? And if you are already a pretty good cook, don't you get bored just making the same things over and over, no matter how good they may be? Don't you (and your family) deserve some variety? I chose to be a homemaker--shouldn't I care enough about my profession to be good at it??
So I'm issuing a challenge to all of you, my readers. It doesn't matter what level you are starting from; this coming week try something new. A new recipe, a new technique, a new something-that-will-make-you-a-little-better in the kitchen. After all, we could all try a little harder to be a little better. ☺

7 comments:

Brooke said...

Yeah, I consider myself to be pretty intermediate when it comes to cooking and baking. Today, I attempted some Portuguese coconout mini-cakes. They seemed really easy, but I didn't realize they were like mini-souffles... My husband ate all but one of our fresh eggs (and I didn't know that when I was at the store at 8am w/ all three kids either), so I used powdered eggs. Normally, the powdered eggs are fine in baked goods. However, I do NOT recommend them in something souffle-like! They fell. They taste good, but they are not pretty :) Oh well, they are for the kids and their friend for a tea party, and they aren't likely to mind.

Mallory said...

I agree! The week of Christmas I cooked a goose. It wasn't that much harder than a turkey (I just had to go in with a bulb baster and remove grease about every 15-30 minutes.) It was excited to try something new. And I know what you mean about the gravy thing!!! I grew up with homemade gravy and it always shocks me when people don't make it from the drippings.

I am not going to take you up on your challenge, simply because in my pregnancy-induced all-day nausea, cooking anything sounds less than desirable!

Lisa said...

Hee hee, this made me chuckle a bit. I am a pretty good cook, and we always have variety in what we eat. But I am defintely a "by the recipe" kind of person. I always make gravy from scratch. And I always have to look up the recipe, even though I've been making it for 15 years with exactly the same recipe. When I use the recipe, it turns out perfect. But yesterday I didn't feel like looking for my recipe, so I made it by memory. And guess what? It turned out horrible. It was lumpy and thin. I don't know what I did wrong. (This is kettle gravy, from a pot roast in the slow cooker, which I have learned is different from pan gravy.)

Carla said...

I was quite sad right before Christmas that all the turkeys that were on sale were stuffed. I am gluten free so it wasn't an option, but we ate at DH's family's house and of course MIL had the stuffed turkey. Nothing like gluten poisoning for Christmas! I think it's kind of the same thing as the gravy, although most people I know use boxed stuffing but everyone makes scratch gravy. I suppose it will be a by-gone thing in the near future!

Angela @ Nine More Months said...

What a great challenge! I am by no means a gourmet chef, but I do try to cook from scratch as much as possible.

Carrie said...

Done and done. I usually try 3-4 new recipes every week because I am never satisfied no matter how much I try. Moving from "mormon-esque" cooking full of cream of's and jello that's has been eye opening and difficult at times. Cooking without MSG really puts my cooking abilities to the test, as does gluten, soy and dairy free cooking. Making good tasting, satisfying foods is my challenge.

Brandi (Maxfield) Morstad said...

I agree that it's good to cook in the kitchen, and to try to have a variety of foods. I (or Dean) cook for almost all of our meals, so I'm a big fan of that. And I LOVE getting new recipes and trying them. I try several new ones every week.

I dare say though, that in my life I've been surrounded by cooks who want their food to be "top-noch", and they spend so much time in the kitchen that they hardly have time for other stuff. So, while I agree it is good to always improve your cooking, I don't think it's worth spending hours and hours to make it (not the cooking time, but the labor time) and have it gone in 20 minutes. There are just so many other things you can do with your time.

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