Jan 18, 2012

How to Boil Water: Lessons

Do you remember when I first started 'How to Boil Water?' Betcha don't - not really anyway. You know why? Because the series actually started out as its own blog. That's the fun fact of the day. Yup, I originally intended 'How to Boil Water' to be its own blog but then decided that I wanted everything to be together here at 'Defying Gravity.' 'Making the Cut' also started out as its own blog too - betcha also wondering where my recent blog posts have been concerning that, well keep waiting. I'm just waiting for the motivation. : ) But I digress...

So I would wager you don't remember way back to July when I wrote my first HTBW post. In essence, I started at a level below beginner. And yes I wondered if there's a level below beginner. I still wonder - does that level have a name? Yes - no? I guess it doesn't matter because I'm fairly certain I have advanced since then. I'm fairly certain I'm at least at the beginner level now. Rob seems to think that I'm a super advanced sous chef - and I have confirmed that he has no idea what a sous chef.

I have done quite a few 'How to Boil Water' - 39 to be exact. That's crazy! Who reads these things? I'm not sure if I'm crazy for writing them or if you are crazier for reading them all? But guess what comes next - yup, you guessed it, the part when I say thank you for reading all my crazy food posts. But in all of these 39 posts, I have learned a lot. I have learned to cook! Who saw that coming?


So what else have I learned? So very much! You wanna know some of the things I have learned? Sure you do or else why are you reading?

ONE // If you choose to broil, make sure to turn the temperature knob all the way to broil.
If you don't then the oven just gets really hot and your desired broil-effect does not happen. Learned that after trying to broil tilapia and we actually had to go out and get more after I did my little mess-up.

TWO // Don't "over-turn" meat. 
There is such a thing as turning meat too often. Which is what I figured out I was doing wrong with chicken and under-cooking it. I have to really give it a chance to cook on one side and not feel like I have to turn it every other minute. Set a time that it needs to cook then turn once. Or at least that's what a lot of my recipes say and apparently I never believed them.

THREE // A cute apron actually makes you cook better!



FOUR //It is possible to over-cook (burn) and under-cooking something all at the same time. 
I learned that one from my brother-in-law and frozen pizza.

FIVE // Pull out all your ingredients first.
It's just a smoother process. And along the same lines as that, read the entire recipe before you even start cooking. Some times they add something sneaky in there that you actually need to have already started, so it's just a good rule of thumb.

SIX // A food processor can save a lot of time in the kitchen
I highly recommend them especially if you are cooking with a lot of fresh vegetables. Mine was buried in one of my cabinets and was always too hard to get to so I hardly ever used it, but I have since freed it and I love it!

SEVEN // The internet is a great source of recipes. 
But more than that, I have figured out how to do a lot of things via the internet. I have learned what I can substitute for things. I have learned how to do things. I have learned what some random vegetables look like when I have no clue what it is.


So that's just a few things I have learned. I am definitely more comfortable around a kitchen. I still have my panic moments but number 5 has saved me many many times. And I should probably also confess that number 3 probably true but I can dream right?

I will even go as far as to say that I have started enjoying cooking. Oh, I definitely get burnt out and don't want to cook probably more often than should be. But as I have gotten more comfortable than when I first started seven months ago. And I look forward to learning so much more and becoming much more comfortable around my kitchen.

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