Nobody wins when corners are cut but it’s been a lesson for me. For most of my life I made a habit of squeaking by. Barely squeaking by actually. And cooking was no exception. Which is why I am constantly surprised when something edible, occasionally tasty, even delicious comes out of the bnb kitchen.
But to get to that moment of sublime delight (it’s happened) I’ve had to study the recipe, stick close to an ingredient list and nail the amounts and the technique ON THE HEAD. Used to be I’d wing it, but hundreds of meals later and expectations that only climb, I am hip to the false freedom of fumbling around with stuff.
Sometimes, however, I lapse into badness.
So. There I was in the kitchen. I’d sliced up a medium onion, diced half a red pepper, country cut half a dozen button mushrooms from the store. Coffee was hot. Juice was cold. Muffins were warm. I was on cruise control and chillin’.
Chose one of my fave pans — a slope-sided, non-stick that was off-the-shelf Wal-mart but surprisingly lithe and delivered a sassy searing when called on. A lightweight number I could depend on for anything fast. I had a frittata in mind and I was, uh, cooking with gas. I let the eggs set up and then….crap, this is really the wrong pan for a frittata I concurred (best to use a classic cast iron pan with edges that come up at a 90 or near-90 degree angle so the eggs and accompanying goodies cook evenly). I had to admit it. The sloped edges of my non-stick would wreak havoc as I aimed to evenly cook through the frittata. So, to make this breakfast happen I defaulted into “scramble” mode, getting in on the nearly cooked eggs and slapping and spooning and pushing them around in the pan. Lots of browned egg in the presentation but what the heck, this was a scramble and scrambles play by their own and anyone’s rules.
Enter Kevin and Cassy. Little did I know they were food sophisticates. Not snobs and not mere foodies either. They know their grub. (I soon learned Kevin had spent a good number of years in the kitchens of the Ritz-Carlton organization, schooled in the tradición Francaise.)
“The eggs are burnt.” Kevin said studying the dish.
I stopped breathing.
There is technique to scrambling an egg?
Such was the beginning of so many good things to come from this visit. We scrambled eggs. We folded in mushrooms. We cut and toasted bread. We shared good times. We littered the floor with corks. OK, I jest…we had some wine, some quite good.
Chef Kevin and la compagnon de cuisine Cassy stayed for a few fun days and my kitchen has never been the same.
Not that I’m opposed to a little squeaking by when I need to. 🙂