Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 34 Phase two - Inventions in the Kitchen

Somewhere in the world of mass production and assembly lines, we've lost too many would be creators. It is evidenced in the kitchen when too many are afraid to try. They are afraid to try new combinations, spices, or even recipes that have all the improvising taken out. As a result we have lost confidence in ourselves and a sense of self or pleasure in being different. If our dish doesn't taste the same as the canned version or McDonald's Big Mac then it isn't edible. This is wrong thinking. We need to capture again the aura of "Grandma's cooking," our own signature dishes and tastes that leave a rich heritage of memory and pleasant associations. The movie "Ratatouille" is a prime example of the magic that carries a person back to a childhood fairy tale in one simple bite. It is risky - and exciting! (At least that is my personality!)

Today we did two things that were new for me. One we baked Oatmeal bread. I substituted oatmeal for half the flour in my traditional bread recipe. I had to add 2 more cups of white flour to make the dough not sticky. We ate scones for breakfast then baked loaves. They were soft and light with a little texture from the oatmeal. Good.

Lunch" Tuna sandwiches with dill pickles

Dinner was the other experiment that tasted great. I baked quartered carrots, red potatoes, peeled russet potatoes, and cabbage wedges layered under white fish fillets. To flavor I added olive oil and minced garlic. The garlic was layered mainly on the vegetables and the olive oil spread on the fish. After phase one when I ran out of butter and had no olive oil, I learned that olive oil was a must for my shelf. I bought a small jar the first week of phase two.) Our large roaster pan baked for 1 hour at 350 degrees until the potatoes were tender to a fork. Everyone thought it smelled great. They were anxious for dinner to be set. The flavor was wonderful after adding salt at the table.

Once again this blog has given me opportunity to learn something new. Lesson: create an artificial challenge, name the handicap, and practice. Success is waiting.

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