Monday, December 20, 2010

2 Things About Cooking I Learned From My Mother

Obviously there are more than just TWO things I learned from my mother, but here are my top two:

1. NEVER, EVER, EVER run out of food. I have no idea whether or not everyone realizes just how important this is. There you are having a dinner party and you've cooked for four but someone brought an extra guest or someone hasn't eaten all day & would like seconds, what are you gonna do? I always plan for seconds when entertaining, you just never know.
This nugget of knowledge has been drilled into me since I was a child. My mom would always add in a
"What would people think if they came for dinner and we ran out of food?",
it sounds a bit superficial but you gotta admire her point of view.
Safe to say food never ran out at our house, she would cook for the four of us and there was always enough to feed six. I have inherited this trait from my mom and am thankful for it. Mainly because it is practical for me and as much as I love to cook I tend to not want to do so EVERYDAY. I enjoy leftovers and some meals you make seem to just taste better the next day. 

Thus, most of the time I cook for two, but usually have enough on hand to feed 4-6 people. Most of my recipes are made to serve 4-6 people, but some differ. I will begin to add serving sizes to my recipes because it's so important and I can't believe I forgot to do this (Thank you Paulina!). Just remember if you're cooking for two, you may get a day off here and there, can't complain about that!

As much as I would like to believe that all chefs and cooks (especially the trained, professional ones) provide us with key recipes that if I follow to a "T" will turn out delicious and flavorful, I realize that they don't. 
Why don't they? 
Because they are not the ones making it, I am. 
My mother tastes everything she cooks! 
Most people have their own ideas about what taste is, and what they constitute as over/under seasoned. In my recipe posts I hardly ever give an exact amount of salt to add, I like to say salt and pepper to taste. My cooking became extremely better when I began to taste. I like to taste right before the meal is almost complete, that way if it's under seasoned, I can add more and give the flavors a chance to soak into the rest of the meal. This is particularly useful when making things like soups, gravy's, stews, etc. 

Tasting is your best friend and you can always enlist an innocent bystander to taste as well, just in case you are all tasted out. 
(Husbands & Friends come in handy during this time)

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