Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Culinary Underground

The first rule about the Culinary Underground-- You don't talk about the Culinary Underground.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself; it was just set up for me. I don't know if you know this, but I cook... a lot. More interesting is that I used to not cook at all. I didn't like it; I didn't know how to do it; I didn't care about it. And then, one day, I had some free time on my hands in our tiny, little apartment in Brighton. Dan was given a really beautiful cookbook (at the time it was understood that he would be cooking-- I'm pretty sure that he was also in charge of the laundry, so things change) called Food For Life. I love this cookbook and if my family members were as willing to eat everything that I eat (read: mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, beans) I would cook from this book all the time. It has relatively simple recipes and gorgeous picture for every single one of them. Why on earth would anyone cook without a picture? Anyway, tiny kitchen, Brighton, and I decided to cook. I started with a garlic chicken stir fry and from these to grilled Tikka Masala (on the George Forman gill, might I add). Success and success and my inner cook was born.

Since I have been a professional homemaker, my cooking has gone to a new level (at least I think so) And whenever I drive down Rt 9, I always see a sign for "The Culinary Underground" for home chefs. So, for the holidays, Dan was kind enough to gift me a "Knife Skills" class. I soooo wanted to take this course and leave Julia Childs. Or at the very least, re-enact Meryl Streep's onion scene from Julie and Julia. (Ahem, if you don't understand that reference, do yourself an ENORMO favor and watch it.) I roped my friend Jess, as she is a family chef, into coming with me. The two of showed up with our own aprons-- we went business. Well, I meant business, and I may have brought Jess along for the ride.

The class was super fun and after two and a half hours we made some yummy stuff. However, in terms of actual chopping skills, my take away was this:

1. I know how to cut things pretty well, form and uniformity included
2. I now know how to properly sharpen my knifes. I also know that my knives need to be sharpened, badly.
3. I have learned a technique for making carrot matchsticks that I didn't know before.

I could have practiced deboning a chicken, but the truth is, I find "deboning" to be an extremely vulgar cooking term, and I'm just not that type of girl.

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