Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to cook when you don't know how: READ!

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
Yesterday was gorgeous here in Seattle.  Because we do get so much rain and clouds, the sunny days are precious and everyone does their best to soak it all in.  I love that about Seattle.  I took the opportunity to walk through the arboretum, and it was simply lovely.  To celebrate the sun and Summer Solstice, some people in my building hosted a BBQ.  And guess what?  Jamie finished his garbure and brought it out to the potluck party!
We finally ate the garbure!!!  That means it actually got finished, hallelujah!

Yesterday, while I was at Lily's soccer practice, Jamie put the finishing touches on the soup/stew all by himself.  When I arrived home, I sunk my ladle deep into the garbure and served myself a hearty bowlful.  The flavors were rich, with a depth that I did not expect from a chicken broth.  I think it was from the initial step of cooking the broth with all those veggies and then straining to reserve the flavor without the added bulk over overcooked veggies.

Bravo, Jamie!  Well done!

I asked Jamie some questions about his first cooking lesson and here is what he had to say:

  • Read the recipe completely.  Prep your ingredients before starting to cook.  Read the recipe again.
  • Now I understand what you have said before, that if you can read a recipe, you can cook anything.
  • Reading the recipe was extremely helpful, that cookbook is really well written.
  • I made the mistake of reading about blanching when I was needing to do it, instead of reading it ahead of time.  I would be more prepared, and read through the extras that are referred to in the recipe.
  • Like everything in life, you gotta be prepared.  To have a good gig, you need to practice.  To paint a house well, you need to be good at the prep work.  To raise kids, you have to...wait?  Who knows how to prepare for that one!
I am guessing Jamie think reading the recipe is a good idea.  Don't ya think?  

I also asked Jamie what he thought of me as a teacher.  Since, I recall him having some apprehension over my skills in that area.  Here's what he had to say about that:
  • She was very sweet the first night.
  • The other nights, she was hands off, but there when I needed it.
Sounds like I didn't do too bad after all!  And neither did he.  
Maybe tonight we'll be back in the kitchen, if that chalkboard stays empty.  Indian?  Lasagne?  Enchiladas?  What do you think we should tackle next from Jamie's list?

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