I'm not much of a writer anymore, but here we go with a journal.
|I'm a 62 63-year-old widow living in Madison, Wisconsin, with two adult kids who here go by Kid A and Kid B.|
|I've been getting down to business about learning how to cook.
In the past, I've had so many problems with finding recipes, but not being able to make them work. Or trying some kind of food item on the infrequent occasion that I get to a restaurant, and then trying to get home and copy it, and failing miserably. It's time to fix this mess, and no better time for it than during this vast and boring pandemic.
Cilantro has always been a puzzle to me. When someone else puts it into food, it's fantastic. When I try putting it into a recipe, it tastes like soap. Even a frozen pizza with cilantro on it would taste great, but anything I tried to use it on would taste like shampoo on toast. I was wondering if it was some kind of a curse. It turns out most people enjoy cilantro, but scientists have figured out that a small percent of us get the taste of soap from cilantro. It's in our DNA.
But there's a way to deal with this: by chopping, mooshing, bashing, blending, smooshing, overcooking, and generally just torturing the hell out of cilantro. It works! Not a dominatrix fantasy at all, just food science.
Mostly, though, I just can't pay money anymore for stuff like prepared pasta sauce, salsa, salad dressing, etc. I got lazy for a while because of coming home late from work and hungry, but now that I'm retired, there's no more excuse. Saving money is pretty important right now.
But the real blessing is in the learning.
Example: I had my first tostada a couple years ago, at the airport while waiting for a connecting flight back home, after saying goodbye to my dad. It was some kind of chain restaurant in an airport, nothing fancy, But I'd never had a tostada before, and it was delicious. Well, after I got home I tried to replicate it, and it came out disgusting. I used all the same ingredients, but it just did not work.
Turns out that to make a tostada, you need to toast the tortilla. Apparently that's why the call it a tostada. (DOH!) That made all the difference. Food science!
So now I'm on a roll. No more growing lemongrass and tomatillos in the garden, only to have them go to waste because of having no idea how to cook them. No more spending extra money for pre-made spaghetti sauce. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to make wine.
We does what we cans.