It's time for a chat.
You probably remember I had a loooooong list of New Year dares up back in January. I thought this was the time to do a short recap of how I'm doing on that list, because, you know, I've had all of my summer holiday to get stuff done, there's only four short months left of the year and - maybe, just maybe, I need a literal kick in the behind to get back in gear. So:
- Do more comparative cooking and, especially, baking.
- Cook Osso Buco.
- Make pasta/to use my Kitchen Aid attachments more often
- Enter the Indian kitchen.
- Cook Chicken Parmesan, a classic Wienerschnitzel and Cordon Bleu.
- Make puff pastry. And then bake me some fine Danish "Wienerbrød" with it.
- Thrash less food because it's gone bad.
Mostly, though, this is going well, because (pat on shoulder) I've gotten better at substituting - no, you don't HAVE to buy buttermilk because you need two spoonfuls - soured milk or creme fraiche or yoghurt, that you already have in the fridge and that is very near expiration, just might do the trick- and improvising with the stuff that's already there. In fact, it's become somewhat of a sport to do a fridge clean-up cooking whenever Martin's out for the night and I just have to cook for myself.
- Find the recipe for Ranch dressing I've been looking for...
- Make stock! Vegetable, veal and chicken - and maybe fish. And actually keep some handy, throughout the year. Shall this be the year of the death of Touch of Taste? (a liquid stock thing)
- Cook fish, at least once a week.
- I'll try not to buy any cookbooks.
Two Danish ones: Noma, from the restaurant, which is gorgeous, but has totally inaccesible recipes (for an everyday meal, anyways) and FISK by Nikolaj Kirk, our version of Jamie Oliver, only better (Take THAT, J.O!) Fisk means, as you probably guessed, fish, so this one has come in quite handy.
Also, I got Heston Blumenthal's In Search of Perfection. I like it, but it was more of a nice read than anything I suspect I'll ever cook anything from. But time will show.
That's it. I'm so proud of me. Yes, there are still three cooking magazine subscriptions (gastro, a Danish one, and Gourmet and Saveur) and I love them for the thrill of them dropping in my mail box ever so often. They probably make the longing for real cookbooks easier to resist. I've also re-discovered the library - did you know they actually have pretty cookbooks there, and they let you have them for a month, and you don't even have to PAY for it?? Amazing, that.
What we have been doing with regards to cookbooks, is putting the ones I (we) already have to good use. Like, we've been using them. Like, we've cooked recipes, straight out of the books, only using our good judgement to adjust etc. Every Sunday, we picked out three cookbooks, then picked a recipe from each, and cooked it during the following week. It's brought us lovely treats such as Thai fishcakes, croquetas and pappardelle with scallops. The project has been on the backburner over the summer, but we're counting on getting in back in gear, now that I'm starting school again.
So that's how I'm doing - how are you doin'?