How to Cook a Meal in 32 Easy Steps!
I have a new-found respect for people who can cook–and people who cook well. I mean, it’s not just the actual standing there and stirring the pot. When you cook, you have to:
1. find a great recipe book (check!)
2. plan the meals
3. make a grocery list
4. go to the grocery store
5. make many decisions about what to buy
6. pay for the food
7. drive home
8. yell at your kid to come help unload
9. tell him you don’t want to hear any of his guff, just do it
10. make sure your cat doesn’t escape from the house while groceries are being unloaded
11. put the groceries away
12. make sure your cat doesn’t steal the loaf of bread and bite through the plastic to eat it
13. have a snack because you’re starving after all that shopping
14. get out all of the ingredients when it’s dinnertime
15. chop stuff
16. wash up knife and cutting board
17. heat the pans or oven
18. cook stuff
19. wash up again
20. make sure your cat doesn’t jump on the stove and burn its foot
21. prepare all foods to be ready to serve at the same time
22. set the table
23. get out all the condiments
24. yell at family to come to the table
25. fix drinks
26. yell at family to come to the table again
27. say grace
29. make sure your cat doesn’t get on the counter to eat leftovers
30. clear the table
31. wash the dishes
32. put away the dishes
Wow–32 steps, and I’m probably forgetting some, right? So as a reluctant cook myself, when I eat a really great meal, I love and appreciate it all the more.
I feel badly now about my last post about creamed spinach because Sally, the contributor, worried that there was something wrong with her recipe. No, no, no! I’m sure the fault lies squarely in my corner. I think we needed the butter. More on that in a minute.
You might want to take a look at this creamed spinach recipe from Berghoff’s, the German restaurant in Chicago. The recipe used to be a closely guarded secret, but they added it to their most recent cookbook. It is soooo good!
I got a book from the library called The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know To Become a Great Cook. Well, geez. Where has this book been my whole life? I started reading their 12 Tips to “make you a better cook,” and #6 jumped out at me:
Keep your substitutions to a minimum.
Now they tell me.
So this time I used full-strength butter, whole milk, and NO substitutions.
Onions and bacon sauteeing in butter.
Took the pan off the stove (I don’t think I did that the previous time either), added the flour, and stirred it in.
After adding the milk, gradually, I put in the cooked spinach.
And guess what? It was delicious!
So now I’m also putting into practice another of their top 12 tips:
Learn from your mistakes.
I’m almost one month into my cooking project. I’ve had a few bonus posts, but in the next month, I’m going to have to buckle down and post a new recipe every day or else I’ll never make it in a year. It’s going to be a tasty one!