Friday, September 24, 2010

Foodie on a Budget: My Culinary Philosophy

It is no secret to anyone that I love food. I love cooking. I watch the Food Network like most guys watch porn, and I turn the pages of a recipe book as quickly as a bestselling novel. I love the aromas of good food filling the house, I love the sound of the sizzle when it hits the oil in the pan, and I walk through a culinary specialty store like most kids walk through a toy store just before Christmas.

Most people have common collections; stamps, shotglasses, postcards. Me? I collect recipe books. Whenever I travel to a new corner of the world, I hunt down a recipe book that specializes in local cuisine. I’m not looking for those big glossy hardcovers you can find just anywhere, no. What I’m looking for are those tiny, home-bound (or stapled) collections of paper which hold local specialties, tips, and tricks, usually sitting by the registers of the local dives with names like Maude’s CafĂ©, or Miss Lil’s Pies. The secrets to making paella or a shrimp etouffee would mean more to me than the secrets of the ancient ones.

I guess you could describe my philosophy on cooking as; Foodie on a Budget. I love exploring new flavors, textures, and creations, but I don’t believe in going bankrupt to do it.

I believe that delicious food should be within anyone’s reach, not just those with access to black credit cards or hall passes to the swanky underground dinner clubs.

I believe in breaking traditions, and that recipes are only guidelines; not rules. If you don’t like something, don’t do it. Hate dill? Don’t put it on your salmon. Better yet, find something that you DO like, I don’t give a damn what’s written on Grannie’s recipe card.

I believe there are only two rules to cooking; you should enjoy prepping the meal, and you should enjoy savoring your creation.

I believe that everyone should have the basic skills to cook a good meal, and I lament the loss of that un-PC term “Home Ec”. Sure, the gender biases were strong, but it seems like we’ve gone in the exact OPPOSITE direction. Feminism was all about having a CHOICE about whether or not to be in the kitchen, and now everyone has run from it in fear. I think that both men and women should know how to successfully soft and hard boil an egg, the difference between mixing and folding, how to slice, dice and mince, and how to grill, boil, sear, broil, and bake.

I believe that you don’t have to break the bank or risk the health of your family to serve them dinner. A family dinner can be both healthy and affordable, and the focus should be on the conversations happening around the table, not the stress over putting food onto it.

I’ve been given the opportunity to guest blog on Ramblings of a Texas Housewife, and I’m ecstatic. I plan on taking my love for experimenting in the kitchen and broadcast it, hoping to share my passion and enthusiasm for delicious eats. Every week, I’m going to start with a basic recipe (maybe one that’s in your own recipe-box or that you’ve stumbled onto online) and I’m going to put my own spin on it. I’m going to try to make it healthier and more cost-effective, and take the overly-complicated and bring it down to something that everyone can enjoy in their own kitchens. I promise to keep my ingredients to the widely available and affordable, my cooking tools to the basic and necessary, my time reasonable and my food delicious. Yes, I’m probably going to make missteps along the way, and when something doesn’t go according to plan, I’ll invite my blog viewers along to laugh at my culinary misadventures. It’s all a part of the journey. So, step into my kitchen on Mondays; you’ll never know what you’ll find bubbling and brewing there!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments!