Daily Culinary Quote: Cooking for oneself (both decadent and strange)

This was meant for December 17th, 2017. Apologies for being late:

“Because cooks love the social aspect of food, cooking for one is intrinsically interesting. A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of liking what you make are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one else will know. In the end, the experimentation, the impulsiveness, and the invention that such conditions allow for will probably make you a better cook.”

~ Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant : Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone)

Daily Culinary Quote: Kids in the Kitchen

“I love every minute in the kitchen with my kids, even the mess (I’ve learned to embrace it!). I find that in the car on the way home from school, I often get one-word answers when I ask about their day. But when we’re cooking, I get in-depth stories.”

~ Sarah Michelle Gellar

Today’s Quote: “…awake, hungry and totally wired at 2am on a Tuesday”

“…anyone who willingly turns their life upside down by becoming a cook is totally insane to begin with. So many chefs that I have met are dyslexic and totally not school people or intellectuals. That could be symbolic of the kind of lifestyle that they choose to live. They all drink a lot, do a lot of drugs, drink a shitload of coffee and espresso. They don’t sleep much, and obviously don’t have much of a life outside the kitchen. A cook’s friend is a cook, there isn’t much time for a non-cook friend or girlfriend. And time really isn’t the issue so much as it’s a lifestyle and a culture that is very hard to understand or identify with unless you are on the inside. Cooks hang out with cooks because there is nobody else awake, hungry and totally wired at 2am on a Tuesday.”

~ Jennifer Topper, “29 Jobs and a Million Lies”

Granny’s Recipe Collection

When my grandmother moved out of her house and into my parents' home, I inherited her collection of recipes.  I remember being more dismayed than excited about this as I had previously gone through and salvaged what I could of the family recipes years before.  I guess I should explain: My grandmother, or Granny as we called her, was a crappy cook.  She had a few things she did well, like liver and onions, chicken fried steak, and plenty of candy; but for the most part, her cooking just wasn't very good.  My Mom passed down the traditional recipes and many of them I've updated as ingredients and tastes have changed (divinity, chocolate covered coconut balls, moth balls, candied pecans, candied orange peels, etc.), so I already had the good stuff.  I remember looking through the box of newspaper clippings, cards from the back of boxes, and hand-written scraps of paper with a sense of "how the hell did she think this would taste good?"  I pulled out anything that looked as though it had possibilities and tossed the rest.  I now regret that because some of those recipes were so bizarre and repulsive that I'd like to make them.

After letting the recipes sit for almost nine years, I've decided to test them out and see what's a keeper.  Some sound interesting: such as Open Sesame Pie, Streusel Cream Peach Pie, Blushing Bowl (a dip with Tabasco), Mexican Rolls, Sad Cake, Watergate Cake, and Ski Cake (do you see a theme yet?).  Others are a bit more questionable: Cheese Beanburger, Plantation Bars with Mince Meat, Red Flannel Hash, and Tomato Soup Spice Cake or even Tomato Soup Chiffon Cake (seriously, both of these recipes use condensed tomato soup).

I'll post the recipe and the results as I work my way through the box.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend