Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cooking = valuable skill set

As most of my mates know, I'm something of a foodie. Despite my various and strange gastronome dislikes, I am a big fan of food, if not cooking itself. Usually I'll try anything once and some things a few more times. I grew up around cooking, more or less. My mom's Hispanic (or as I like to call her: "spic-tacular") and she always made homemade Mexican food, which beats the pants off any of that crap you get at so-called "Mexican" restaurants. She makes her own tortillas and other dishes that make my mouth all drooly to think about. Also, I have a very Southern grandmother on my dad's side who was all about cooking a big spread every Sunday and Wednesday. Fried fish, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cornbread, biscuits, mac'n'cheese, at least one kind of pie and one kind of cake, you name it. Unfortunately, I don't have much of a taste for Southern cooking, not since I discovered Indian, Vietnamese, and Japanese cuisine as a teenager. Now here was something to really enjoy. Saag paneer, crushed rice with lemongrass chicken, and sushi?

You can take your Southern cooking and shut it.

Over the past few years I have become a more than capable cook. I do have a few specialties: pasta puttanesca, white bean chicken chili, roasted veggie quesadillas, Quiche Lorraine, etc. I am always trying new recipes and new ways of cooking. I wish I had a grill pan, another chef's knife, two large wooden cutting boards (one for veg, one for meat), and loads of other things I never dreamt I would want as a kid. And if there's one thing I hope this skill set comes in handy for, is making someone a nice meal. With wine. And then cigarettes.

Anyway, all this food rambling has led up to this: the coolest cook ever. He rocks my socks off.

And the list of food I don't like?

* calamari
* mushrooms
* pickles
* fennel/licorice/anise
* red meat
* eel

But for the record, I do like: caviar (yet, oddly enough, not on sushi), anchovies, and dark chocolate.


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