Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Them Wild Cookers

Me saying that I love to cook is like birds saying they love to crap on people, Goliath saying he loves Big and Tall, or THE DRESS saying that it loves to freak everyone that's ever been near a computer out.
(Really NY Times?! REally?!)

We just go together. It just happens.

While I've always loved to cook, I think my obsession really started while we were living in China. China is a great place to eat...wait for it...CHinese food, and not much else. So being a foreigner living there, I had to get inventive to be able to eat some of my old favorite things.

Can't find good bread. I'll make it!
Can't find good pizza. I'll make it!!
Can't find good cheese. I'll make it!!

.....Actually the cheese making ended horribly. I tried to make some Queso Fresco, which you do by just boiling milk and adding vinegar and salt, scraping up the curds, and then draining them in cloth. It ended that we just had a misshapen ball of dry, flaky cheese sitting in our fridge for a month that tasted like nothing but sour milk and no one touched until we noticed it growing mold one day and was thrown with disgust in the trash.

Now that we're back though, I just buy my cheese and have become a weee bit obsessed with Julia Child.

*My favorite episode. She's so adorably scatterbrained*

I'm currently reading my fourth book about/by her and we go through butter in this house like it's nobody's business. I spend my days making her ridiculously long and labor intensive recipes. For example, dinner yesterday was:

Artichokes and Hollandaise sauce (Artichokes are just a way to not be eating the nommy thick, creamy, lemony, butter sauce with a spoon),
Coq au Vin ( A roasting chicken I quartered, browned, bathed in cognac and lit on fire, and then cooked in red wine sauce with onions, mushrooms, and bacon till it's become all beautiful and juicy and a weee bit purple)
Parsley Potatoes (butter. parsley. baby potatoes. yum),
and Mousseline au Chocolat (egg whites, chocolate, butter, orange liqueur, coffee, all beaten and folded together bit by bit until it's frothy and stiff and then chilled till it comes to be this creamy deliciousness that is supposed to serve 6 to 8 people but you end up eating a third of it before your notice).

I've also been dabble-ing in Joy of Cooking for menus and bread recipes.

I've become like this 1950's house wife essentially, cooking all day, and having dinner on the table when my husband comes home. Which isn't a bad thing, I guess, but I instinctually resented it until I found this in the tome that is Joy of Cooking this morning:

Yep. Mrs. Joy of Cooking gave no apology or preamble explaining that only in dire straits would you want to cook up this mess. Beaver Tail and Armadillo were evidently choice bits to cook up for your table during her ol' Stepford Wife days.

Here I was thinking that it was some hicks in the backcountry eating armadillo and keeping leprosy alive in the states,

 but no, turns out it could be some freakishly adventurous Joyful Cookers, sprinting round the country-side in their heels and pearls, hunting down and saute-ing up armadillo steaks to go with their green beans and french-fried potatoes.

Kind of frightening, and kind of inspiring.

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