Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 9 - Observation

No recipes or lessons today. Just an observation:

This project is already having an impact on my confidence around cooking. Two things happened today that would never have happened otherwise.

My cousin (and dear friend) Harriet was at my apartment, and we were enjoying a glass of wine before heading out to dinner, and I thought - Gee, I'd love to serve some kind of snack. I wish I'd picked something up...

Then I remembered I had salsa and corn tortillas from Huevos Rancheros a few days ago. It occurred to me that there must be a way to turn those soft tortillas into tortilla chips... so I fried them, just like I fried up that tempura last night. And the chips were amazing! I never would have thought to do it before, let alone attempted it. But having experienced frying firsthand, it seemed totally within my grasp. And turns out, it was!

Then, we were eating at Uncle Nick's, a neighborhood Greek place, and Harriet ordered flounder, which was served whole. I had a flashback to the Dover sole that the FNBF and I just made, and I offered to fillet the fish for her. And it was actually going well until the part where I tried to show off and lift the fish skeleton away from the bottom fillets. Turns out flounder skeleton and sole skeleton do not behave identically....

But still, I'm developing skills and a confidence that are paying off in unexpected ways.


Meanwhile, I'd like to congratulate Martha on the James Beard Foundation Award nominations she received today, but especially her nomination for Best General Cooking Cook Book: Martha Stewart's Cooking School. As far as I'm concerned, you got it in the bag!!! (Congratulations also to the book's designer, William Van Roden, who can take much credit for the book's allure and success.)

Incidentally, I'm working out a system to track which tasks I've covered and what's left to tackle. It's not complete and refined, yet, but my early estimates point to a total of roughly 360 lessons, recipes, and variations that make up this project. And as of today, Day 9, I have completed 24 of said tasks. Not bad, right? That's 6.6%.

And before I forget, if any New Yorkers would like to lend me their ice cream maker or meat grinder, I promise I will take really good care of it/them and return it/them after completing my grinding and ice-cream making tasks. Thanks!

Until we eat again...

(FYI, my friend Annie says that the Carnegie Deli has a theme song that includes the phrase "until we eat again." I am not referring to that song. I wasn't even aware of that song, until now. I was just looking for a catchy sign off.)

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