There was this girl, impossibly smart, incredibly witty, and a bit of a darling (if she were to say so herself). She was/is brilliant, talented and like any sane college student, (any sane human being really) she loved food. But there was just one problem:
She failed at cooking.
Okay, so let’s face it, she is me and I am her… Or something like that.
And I don’t entirely fail at cooking.
Oh sure, I can fry an egg, toast toast, and cook meat long enough to avoid trichinosis/salmonella/other icky diseases.
But past that point, I fumble, falter and become… frazzled?
Inevitably, when called upon to cook or bake for some occasion, I resort to my old standards: boxed cakes, casseroles, and dips that occasionally come with the subtitle *Note, this is impossible to fuck up*
Now that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with this type of cooking. Believe me I love top ramen as much as the next Co-ed, and I tend to think of a well executed grilled cheese as a work of art akin to a Caravaggio.
But, and here’s where I tend to differ from many of my fellow students, sometimes I want more than that.
Unfortunately in this day and age, food and cooking seems to have been divided into two camps. There’s those of us who enjoy hamburger helper, and then there are… the other guys.
They use funny words, like ‘bitters’ and ‘sherry jus’ and ‘flambe’. And their ingredient lists include ‘fennel’ and ‘lavender’ and ‘muesli’.
Just glancing at their recipes gives me a headache. And when I find out that the pinch of saffron said recipe requires costs $315, I also loose my appetite.
Again, I’m not against intriguing spices or foreign methods and ingredients, I just feel like food should be approachable.
Is that so wrong?
So, I have devised an experiment to conquer my own fear of the kitchen, as well as to (hopefully) prove that food can be tasty, healthy, uncomplicated and cheap!
Starting the week after next, I will take on the seemingly simple (though probably immensely complex) task of cooking something that is not entirely* boxed or bagged or frozen just once a week.
I say not entirely, because I believe that I do have limitations. Making my own pie crust from scratch is one of them. As a new chef/baker/cook extraordinaire I don’t want to overwhelm myself. Not to mention I have to balance this fun little exercise with being a full time college student on the dean’s list, as well as having a part time job, and a *cough* social life.
For every recipe I bring to life, I’ll include the original recipe and source, as well as how many changes I made to it. I’ll also include pictures of the process and tell how much my ingredients cost. During the in between time I may write about other meals I make outside this experiment, as well as (possibly) how-to’s for simple cooking tasks.
I will include my successes, my failures, and my thoughts and rantings.
Along the way I hope to have fun, and perhaps create some tasty, approachable, good for you, cheap food!
Wish me luck!