Adventures in the kitchen are very much like our adventures in daily life. You have to be willing to move out of your comfort zone, have confidence to complete the task and the belief that you will succeed.
I am a long time fan of adventure. I have shamelessly envied, (and if we are being honest here, wished I could be one), secret agents and Iron Man competitors. I am drawn to shows like “Survivor “, “Expedition Impossible” and “The Amazing Race” because of their thrill factor. I imagine myself alongside my favourite contender striving for the win.
Until recently, I never had a win in the kitchen. I love food with all my heart, but could never muster the same affection for cooking. I hated it! Just ask my mother. Anything I attempted was crap and I would get extremely frustrated with myself. Eventually I evolved into a person who went into the kitchen only to get food, many times retrieving pre-packaged/cooked food from the fridge. I willed people to invite me for dinner and was an ideal guest, lavishing praise on the cook and cleaning my plate. About a year ago that all changed…
I suppose it started with the awakening, my fancy term for finally getting my head out of my bum. I began to wonder how my friends were making their food taste so good. I watched, listened and asked lots of questions. I ventured a wee bit out of my comfort zone, struggling to copy what they did. I read, researched, and came to the conclusion that all recipes are not created equal. That was news to me! I thought if you followed the directions, things would come out tasting as marvelous as they looked in a magazine. Please do not fall into that trap; it’s a fallacy! The key is to experiment, to take little risks. Start relying on your own instincts, much like we do when venturing into new territory during a Saturday excursion. The results can be quite surprising!
Weekends are the time for my greatest kitchen adventures. I usually spend a good part of Saturday or Sunday creating meals. I make things for lunch, supper for that night; sometimes I whip something up on a whim! I especially like making soups. A few weeks ago my friend Catherine taught me how to make a roux. If you haven’t heard of that before, it is an equal mixture of butter and flour that you whisk together and add to thicken your soup. And let me tell you, the outcome is delish!
Maybe you already know the delights of cooking (share your favourite recipes with me!), or perhaps you are the kitchen wallflower wishing you could fashion something yummy. You can! Muster up some confidence and start exploring. I have found cooking to be an incredibly healing, joyous adventure. Let me know what’s going on in your kitchen J
I am not a chef!
I made this today, adapted from a few recipes I found on the internet. I think it is yummy, but do with it what you like; feel free to experiment!
One head of cauliflower chopped
4 cloves of garlic
One onion chopped however you like
1/4 cup or a little less of butter and equal amount of flour
Chicken broth: I used around ¾ of a litre of Campbell’s reduced sodium (they come in 1L boxes)
Drizzle of olive oil: you decide how much you want
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the cauliflower, onion, garlic in a pan with around ½ inch of water. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 350-375 degrees until cauliflower is slightly brown and soft. Time and temperature varies with different ovens. Keep your eye on it and mix it up a few times. After it is finished, pour half of the chicken broth into the same pan while it cools. When it is cool, blend all of the contents in the pan in a blender, adding the rest of the chicken broth, until it is the consistency you like. I blended in two batches; you don’t want to make a big mess! In a pot large enough to hold the finished soup, melt butter over medium heat. Once it is melted, slowly pour in flour while whisking. Whisk swiftly until it thickens and turns a little darker in colour. Even though I watched Catherine make it, I Googled “roux” to get a little more info on how to do it. When you have completed the roux, pour in the blended ingredients and whisk to mix them all together. Yum!