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February 20th, 2005

The Basics

Last night the topic of cooking and baking came up in conversation. My wife had just started reading the first chapter of Nigella Lawson’s book, How to Eat. In it Nigella discusses how people have generally lost the ability to do “the basics” when it comes to cooking. That is, how to make stock, how to make a pastry crust, how to make a roast (or, presumably, Tofurkey), etc.

That got me to thinking, of course, about my own abilities in the kitchen. I have a very small number of recipes I am good at, and one I’m really good at, but indeed I’m not that good with the basics. Pastry crust? Comes in a box. Stock? Comes in a box. A roast? Uh, I haven’t had one in years, but I’m pretty sure I put it in the oven. That’s about it.

How about you? Are you good with the basics, or are you not so good, too? The idea of making all of this stuff instead of buying it is a really appealing concept, versus depending on canned and processed food to take care of things. I mean, as Ryan knows, 35 years ago a whole lot of tuna was recalled because of mercury contamination… and I don’t see mercury on my spice rack.

Posted in Food and Beverage

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