December 17th, 2015 by Jan

I’m done joking around. I’m going to seriously put in some time and learn how to cook.

I’ve been watching Anna and Kristina on TV – During their show, they choose a cook book, select 3 – 6 recipes, make them, and serve it to a renown chef.

I like them, because, while they are practiced at cooking, they are not chefs and do stumble. I’ve seen them screw up, they forget ingredients and even sometimes set off smoke detectors. It’s not a dog and pony show either. They really want to make good food and be successful with their cooking. I learn a lot watching the show and now, I’m inspired.

One cook book really sparked my interest, The Family Meal by Ferran Adria. Anna and Kristina recommended this book because it offers 31 three course meals, complete with menu planing, shopping list, great photographic instructions, and really important to me, it is fancy food, but not complicated. The recipes shown can be made for 2, 6, 20 or 75 people. Finding a nice meal to cook that only serves two is nice. I am not a big fan of leftovers.

I ordered the book for Christmas and it arrived Monday.

I’ve spent a lot of the week reading it. FYI… I do not read cook books. My standard fare with cooking is to open a cook book — get an idea of what sounds good. Realize I only have half of the ingredients and am hungry now. So, I close the book, put a steak on the BBQ and a bag of salad in a bowl. Then yell for Ken that dinner is ready.

No more… Last night, I made Salmon stew with lentils from The Family Meal. It was good and it wasn’t all that hard. I even made an ingredient that needed to go into the stew called sofrito. It is a tomato paste like sauce with herbs. The sofrito alone took an hour of cooking time, but I’m retired, so I had it. The meal itself went pretty quick and did I mention… it was good!

I cooked

Encouraged by success, my big fat idea here is to work through this cookbook and use it to help me learn how to serve up some fine dinners, for Ken and me. And maybe, one day you!

This morning I asked Ken to pick one of the meals. He closed his eyes and pointed.

I went to the store and bought the ingredients, consulted Grace, who is a real chef, for pointers, and I spent quite a bit of time picking the fish mongers brain at the local fish store.

Tonight’s menu …
Polenta & Parmesan gratin
Sesame rock cod with carrot salad
And for desert, Mango with chocolate yogurt.

I better get going. Wish me luck.

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