Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What’s Cooking???

20 March 2012

One of the best ways for me to relax and de-stress is to get in some kitchen time. Cooking and doing dishes mellows me out. Give me KP and I am a happy man!  I’ve been cooking for most of my life. When I was young and taking care of my brothers, I learned quickly that if we were to eat, I had to be the one to whip something up. One of my first recipes? Sugar sandwiches. I would take butter, spread it on bread and coat the butter with sugar. Slap another piece of bread on there and voila! Sugar sammich!!! I soon moved up into the savory realm by preparing a mean mayonnaise sandwich. Spread Mayo on bread, sprinkle with a bit of pepper and there ya go. I like to think that I have moved up a bit from that.

I am a member of several recipe sites and I am always looking on different chefs sites for new ideas and recipes. I maintain a collection of several thousand recipes that I have compiled over the years as well as a few of my own originals. The majority of which I have not ever tried out. I have found that even with a printed recipe in hand, you can’t always make a good dish. Some can do it well while others are challenged. I’m a bit in the middle. It depends on the dish I guess but for some reason, most of the dishes I come up with just don’t seem to really taste the way they should.

One reason is that I don’t really know what I am doing. No formal training of any kind except what I learned on my own. So things like “what tastes good with what” escapes me sometimes. Another reason is the ingredients. I stay away from oils and lards and substitute with butter, wines, stocks, and spirits in my cooking. If I fry, I use either olive or peanut oil depending on what I am frying and for how long. I have a hard time measuring ingredients and I tend to “dump”. My biggest problem is that when I cook, I try to scale it back as it is just me and my wife. So I don’t want to waste. I’m going to change that policy. From now on, the first time I make a recipe, I will do it as it says, “by the book”. If I make it again, I’ll try to modify the amounts and measures. It’s also important to make sure you have all the right equipment. That’s important. You can’t make a fence without nails and screws. It also helps if you know what you are making is supposed to taste like. You cannot possibly hope to make a good Carne Guisada if you have never tried it before. I will try just about anything as far as food goes and this gives me a good reason to go to the many different restaurants in the San Antonio area.

As for what I cook well, I would say that I am a Master at BBQ and smoking. Nobody can smoke ribs or turkey the way I can. I make the absolute best pot of chili that I have ever had. And if you want some good spaghetti, come to my house. I have no problem bragging about what I can cook well! I would love to have my own kitchen in my own restaurant. A chalkboard menu, “Mom and Pop” style place where you can get a good plate of vittles, a nice beer or bottle of wine. That’s always been a dream of mine but it’s one that I could feasibly do. I got the chops and I can make a mean sugar sammich.

Have a Blessed Day Ya’ll!

Related Links:

Recipe for Carne Guisada on the “Homesick Texan” Blog:

World Wide Recipes website:

Allrecipes.com website,

Todays “Did Ya Know?”  Today is “Extraterrestrial Abduction Day”!!! Whatever you do, do NOT go to sleep. I’m told that’s when they like to come visit you, when you sleep. Also, if you go out camping for a weekend with the fellers and you get blind drunk, that’s when they get ya. I bet things are hopping out in Roswell today!!!!!! Being an alien hybrid myself, I can relate to this day and I plan on spending a lot of time thinking and reflecting about my relatives in the Degobah system!!!!

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