On reading other food/cookery blogs I’m seeing plates and bowls of good-looking food. And I wonder – who are these people who know how to cook so well, so prettily? I’m not a bad cook, I’d go so far as to say I’m growing into being a good one, but my meals are much more trial and error.
It should also be taken into account that I am often a fool. Today, for example, I was making what was shaping up to be a pretty good chicken noodle soup with some stock I made yesterday. I had the leftover chicken from Sunday’s roast, I chucked it in the pot, and only then did I remember that I had flavoured the roast chicken with a lemon butter under the skin. The chicken noodle soup was… lemony. Really quite lemony. Which is not the flavour I was going for.
As it turned out, Mr B enjoys lemony chicken noodle soup and the meal was not ruined, particularly with the addition of kneidl. But I never see this happen in other people’s blogs. Their food looks pretty, colourful, less accidental.
And here’s another thing – sometimes it’s not me being a fool. I also had a go at making dashi (Japanese stock) today. From all the recipes I looked at, it looks pretty simple. Put kombu in water, bring to boil, add bonito flakes, turn off heat, when flakes settle at bottom of pan all is done. Except none of these recipes (NONE) mentioned that you need to poke the flakes to make them settle. I left those flakes floating on top the water of 20 minutes. “This can’t be right”, thought I, “I will investigate”. At which point I poked some flakes gently and they all immediately sunk to the bottom of the pan. I drained the stock, had a sip, and oh my lord it tasted like tuna water. It wasn’t good.
I gave it the benefit of a doubt and tried it again. Nope. Definitely tuna water, caused by excessive bonito flake soaking. I threw it away.
So you see. Sometimes I’m a culinary clever-clogs, some days (like today) I should just stick to stir-fry.