In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to share my philosophy on cooking and how to ensure your meal is perfect every time.
Get Instructions from someone who knows what they are doing. This is an obvious step, but it is very important. You never want to take cooking advice from that one friend who thinks she can cook, but nobody has the heart to tell her she sucks. I was fortunate enough to learn from my mom who is a fabulous cook. She could have been a professional chef if she had ever tried. My mouth waters even now when I think about her cooking. Note: There will always be something lost in translation. Don’t get upset, this happens to everyone. There is always one dish that you will never be able to duplicate and that’s fine. Just get it as close as possible.
Use the best ingredients you can afford. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes the best is not always the most expensive. You have to do your research. Just remember, fresh is always your best option, then frozen and lastly canned when buying veggies. Read the ads and tailor your menu to what is on sale. You don’t have to be a millionaire to eat great food; you just have to be smart. Here’s a tip: visit your butcher early in the morning. They usually start very early and the cuts are fresh. You will have the pick of the litter and if you see a nice piece of meat that you want cut, they are already in that cutting mood so it will be less of a hassle for them.
You must be confident. Don’t just learn the steps and go through the motions, you have to know what you are doing. Once you leave your instructor, you are on your own. Read the recipe so you know it by heart, but keep it handy for reference. You’ve learned from the best, now get in there and show us what you got!
Cook with LOVE! I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. You must enjoy cooking in some sense or you will never have a great meal. You have to put a little bit of yourself in every meal that you create. The energy you have while you are cooking is what comes out in the food. Have you ever been in a bad mood and tried to cook? Usually those emotions come out in the food and it just doesn’t come out right. On the flip side, if you’re happy and singing your meal comes out delicious. Well that’s what I’m talking about. If you have to cook and happen to find yourself in a bad mood, turn on some music and watch the goodness just slide on through. Don’t believe me watch the movie “Like Water for Chocolate”.
Presentation is key. Nobody wants to eat ugly food. It’s a proven fact that even if your food is delicious, the way it is presented has a psychological affect on people. They will not like it if it looks bad. Unfortunately it doesn’t work in reverse so I hope you really paid attention during your lessons. Check out Christmas Vacation to see what I’m talking about.
Enjoy you Thanksgiving and don’t forget to have a little fun while you’re in the kitchen! Cook with LOVE!