Cooking vs. Not

I’ve had so many people give me feedback on Blue Apron, Hello Kitchen and other ingredient delivery services. It makes shopping mindless and allows users to put together spectacular dishes from scratch. But are you really cooking or are you being a substitute for the microwave.

One of the essential parts of cooking well in understanding what your ingredients will do. This constant seperation of ingredients from humans is concerning. I’ve seen people get done with a dinner and toss out the equivalent of a refrigerator box of recycling to feed 4 people. I asked another person if they could idenitfy the herb in a tiny vacuum packed cellephane, to which they answer no, but it goes into the pot before the liquid.

Technology is great, don’t get me wrong, but do yourself a favor and really learn how to buy your meats, vegetables, fish and poultry. Be engaged in what your doing not removed and allow your inner chef to emerge. Its in there, behind all the packaging and convenience.

Food for Thought

For those who search out the freshest ingredients and always curious about flavors, let me recommend one of my favorite stores….Monterey Market in Berkeley.  I’ve been shopping here for decades and this is my first write up.  Why?  Because I love it so much.

This institution has served me in so many different regards.  I’ve been getting “special” ingredients here and yesterday, again, solidified my adoration for the store.  Its it because of the neat isles and wide open shopping area?  Definitely not.  Its because they have truffles, along with Romanesco, and purple Cauliflower and outrageously fresh Shishito peppers.  Under one roof lays a culinary ingredients wonderland.

Stroll the isles on day and buy one thing new each time.  The memories will linger on your palate forever.

Food for thought…..

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words would it take to equal a taste?  I’m not talking about just one taste while you’re cooking, but how about the taste of an entire meal.

A taste of an appetizer, for example, has many tastes seperately then combined becomes something terribly unique.  For example guacamole.  Seperately you have avocado which most people can readily identify.  Garlic….same thing. Salt….same thing.  Onion….same thing.  Jalapeno….unmistakable.  Lime juice is tart.  Mix it all together and something magical happens.  It needs to be done in balance or the dish doesn’t taste right.  If the chips are soggy, the guacamole is not as good.  Similarly, if too burnt or not seasoned properly, something not related to the guacamole injects their personality onto something its not related to at all.  Then what happens to the rest of your meal.

The point is taste is worth more than a thousand words and if you’re going to eat something, think about where it comes from.  We hear it often that people are concerned about their food and would like to know who cooked it and that the put the proper care in preparing the meal, so come a take a class so you can be in control.