Thursday, April 26, 2012

double bogey.

during a vacation to the beach with my family and grandparents one year, we all played a round of golf together. for whatever reason, probably laziness, i decided to use one club for the entire course and for every putt i attempted. the driver. after i tried my best first shots with the driver, my grandpaw would then help out and hit the first "reeeally long" shot. then, i would take it from there. did i change clubs, though? no. i stuck with the driver and carried it around with me all over the course. i putted with it, amused by the laughs it seemed to get, and claimed it was silly to use any other club. "it doesn't make any difference," i would say. my all-in-one discovery was good enough for me.
i find the same philosophy popping up when i'm in the kitchen as well. i regularly use the wrong utensils for the job and often omit ingredients or steps, telling myself, "it doesn't make any difference." and most of the time, it really doesn't (unless i'm baking, and then, i do stick to the recipe). i leave out ingredients at times because i don't have them on hand. i replace one ingredient with another, thinking it will do, but not really knowing if the two ingredients should be substitutes for each other (for instance, paprika and cayenne pepper. sound like a good sub pair?). i merge two or three steps of recipes together to save time (and another messy bowl). in general, i try to take the driver route way too often in the kitchen.
sometimes, i wonder if my cooking, and if the food itself, would improve if i did use the proper utensils and if i did honor all the ingredients. the truth is, as much as i enjoy cooking, the end result oftentimes frustrates me because the flavor is off or the food doesn't look as pretty as i would like. maybe, by taking the time to find the right utensils and use the right ingredients, then i would be more satisfied with the end result.
this week was successful cooking-wise, i will say. my favorites? a roasted two-potato spinach salad and a spinach and artichoke grilled cheese sammich. and i followed both recipes pretty closely, only admitting the garlic from the sammiches, and taking the time to thoroughly drain the spinach and artichoke mixture, boil and peel the eggs and chop the onion for the salad (i usually get pretty lazy with my chopping, so this was an accomplishment). i'm probably a little behind with this, but i have to say, roasted potatoes are delightful, and they were a nice addition to the spinach salad (kind of like a soft, warm crouton). i did, however, catch myself using a plastic spoon to try and scrape the potatoes from the roasting pan, instead of using.. well.. something with more umph and strength. and i did not make my own honey mustard dressing, but maybe next time. but, hey, i'm still getting the hang of this cooking thing. and, regardless, it always brings a smile to my face to cook. i find some kind of happiness there.
i'm still not convinced that following every little step or rule exactly is necessary. the optimist in me likes to think you can golf an entire course with a driver and fix and enjoy your a meal your way, using what feels right to you. but the questioner in me still wants to find out what it is like to use another club and to follow a recipe to a.. tee.
(easy and quick) recipe happiness..
roasted two-potato salad

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