Sunday, June 3, 2012

just like always

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
Veggie Minestrone, made by me.

I am so excited (for real, I know you all think I am kidding here) to teach my husband, Jamie how to cook.  His cooking repertoire pretty much consists of eggs, pasta, salad, veggie sandwiches, frozen pizzas, and a sorry attempt at stir fry.  Sorry, Jamie, but you know it is true.  And what I have always appreciated is the attempt.  The fact that Jamie tries his best to make the family a dinner when I am not able is so sweet, and is yet one more reason that I think he is one of the best Dads out there.

I found my son seated upon the dunk tank at the carnival!
Soaking wet!
So, the exciting part of this month is the possibility that when I cannot make dinner, or maybe even sometimes when I can, Jamie will have the confidence in the kitchen to step up and make his family a tasty meal. I thought we would start our lessons this weekend, but it turned out that when we weren't at sporting events, Lily's fist trapeze show or the school carnival (all for the kids), he was working.  Was this his master plan?  To not be around to be taught by his wife, the most amazing teacher ever?  Doubtful, since this month was his idea in the fist place.

So, just like always, I cooked this weekend.  Which is fine, like I said before, I love it.  I did relinquish control on Friday night as we were celebrating the new liquor laws in Washington state.  You can now buy liquor at the local grocery store, and so we commemorated the historical event with margaritas!  And I taught Jamie to how to make a batch.  He made a pretty good margarita, I must say.

Lily's Trapeze show!
My plan for the week ahead is to get Jamie's list of cooking goals in writing.  Then I want to have him look through three of my favorite cookbooks...two simple, one a little more intricate...and pick at least one recipe from each.  Throughout this month I intend on making sure he learns not only how to use a cookbook, but how to make a shopping list, get the timing of cooking down and above all feel confident in the kitchen.

I think if someone can use a cookbook, they can cook anything.  To me, that is the first step, and after that you can experiment and improvise.  I strongly suggest "not re-inventing the wheel" as Dina would say, and start with what the experts have to say.  Get the basics and brach out from there.  I think, as a jazz musician, Jamie will really appreciate that approach.
Our friend Erin is staying with us and made this YUMMY cake,
Jewish Apple cake, her Bubbe's recipe!

And finally, my ultimate goal for Jamie this month, is to have him plan and execute a dinner party.  From the invites, to the menu, to the shopping, and the cooking...all of it.  And I promise to do the dishes!

Cheers to a fun month ahead!


Judy Sohl said...

What are your 3 favorite cookbooks?

Melissa Baumgart said...

Hey, Judy! I have lots of them, but for this occasion I chose:
1.) Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthis Lair (simple)
2.) ad hoc at home by Thomas Keller (somewhat intense at times)
3.) Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentiis (simple and accessible)

What are yours?

Cassandra said...

I really like Teresa Giudice's Skinny Italian cookbook. She has a recipe for a mushroom and wine pasta sauce that is soooooo good.