Sunday, January 10, 2010

neither julie nor julia

For Christmas, my husband enrolled me in a 6-week basic cooking class. My friend Mike likened the idea to “giving your girlfriend a gym membership.” In other words, insulting. But anyone who knows me knows that this really is a good idea.

For someone who has baked pizza with the cardboard attached the bottom, set the smoke alarm off while boiling spaghetti noodles, failed at every attempt to cook tofu really struggled with cooking all her life, this was a welcomed opportunity. We’ve trimmed the excess fat off our budget, which includes eating out, so I might as well enjoy my time while I’m stuck in the kitchen.

Last Tuesday was our first class. There were 11 other people, all wide-eyed and ready to become the next Iron Chef. For 3 ½ hours, I was on information overload. Yes, I did know a few things. But there were a ton of things I had no clue about.


how to hold a knife—I’ve been wrong my whole life

how to dice an onion—less tears this way

mire poix (onion, carrot, and celery mixture that’s the foundation of any stock)

how to position your left hand so it’s less likely to get chopped off

cool chefs never say “chopped;” it’s “diced”

And then, finally, this:

Do you see where my chicken is? It’s on top of a shelf.

Apparently, it’s supposed to go (along with eggs) in the very bottom of the fridge. The risk of salmonella is contained to just the chicken when it’s on the bottom. But if it’s anywhere else, it could leak and contaminate other foods that you don’t have to cook as thoroughly. Interesting.

When I opened my fridge to assess where foods actually were, I noticed this little picture.

You see that Sealed Pan?The Drawer on the Bottom of the Fridge?

If you look closely, you’ll notice a for-real picture of a chicken (and I think a ham).

It’s been there the whole time. 

The entire 3 ½ years that I’ve used this fridge. There’s no picture of carrots, and yet they beat the poultry out every time with hardly a fight. I feel like I owe an apology to past chickens and every student I’ve ever yelled at reasoned with for not paying attention to the obvious.

Insulting or not, it’s a good thing I’m at cooking school.

1 comment:

  1. This weekend I will be attempting my first ever "real" recipe...from an actual cookbook...and it has multiple ingredients and steps. It's something about eggplant...and pasta...and sauce. I hope I can handle this! :)