Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Joy of Cooking

I can feel a rush of air if I stand in the corner of the kitchen where the sink and the counter is. To the left is the microwave, the stove, and the refrigerator. On the right I have a toaster oven, stand mixer, and an assortment of cast iron skillets and baking pans. In this vague, description it looks like my kitchen is all set for success. And it is because I bought a brand new chef knife. I can make everything now. I can bake anything now!

And I don't as often as I could. There is no real need for me to bake a batch of cookies if I'm going to only eat two. Cooking a steak or pork chop is a real chore and a guessing game of—is it done? Is it done? Is it overcooked!? Oh no it died.

But then, why do I want to cook? Why do I need to put myself through the chore of cleaning every single dish in my kitchen. Then dirtying every single dish again. I have to stand, bend, lightly move around the stove as to not get burned. And I get burned every single time.

Cooking is a process. It's an understanding of physics and chemistry in a very demanding application. High heat, low heat...combining ingredients to procure textures, flavors, it's all so intricate. But what's it worth? Is the chore of peeling and cutting potatoes for mashed potatoes worth the 1/3 cup portion at the end? Is there something I'm missing, a joy?

I once spent a good two hours making orange and grapefruit juice to my very politically and natural eating conscious friends. I cut every single orange in half, then quarters. Then I took a hand lemon squeezer and squeezed super hard to get all the juice out into a strainer. Because, why would i want to give my friends orange seeds? I did the same with the grapefruits. A total of 6 or so oranges and 3 grapefruits. I thought it was divine. It apparently lacked sugar. In hindsight I would have added the juice of a lime. I love limes.

I cook for the appreciation of cooking. That my family and friends enjoy the fruits of the process, that's a different type of joy.

4 comments:

  1. Drat... I wrote you a nice long post on how to tell the temperature and hit the wrong button and lost it. If you want to know who to tell a piece of meats temperature by firmness of touch please let me know.

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  4. Oh no! I hate it when you lose long posts!

    I think I'm getting a hang of cooking meat. I don't check the right temperature, but I go by color. I keep a close watch on the color of the cut to make sure it barely loses all the pink. Now, I know that it's technically overcooked at that point, but I cook for others, and they WILL NOT touch slightly pink meat. So it works.

    Also, I deleted your extra comments. It seems your comment was processed three times!

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