monkeygreens


Well Hell I can do THAT!
July 27, 2011, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Recipes and Ideas

GET BEHIND ME SATAN!

No no …not really! Yikes! Just quoting the brilliant White Stripes there, in rhythm to my reference to Hell. I guess it is devilish to go into grotesque detail regarding my newest obsession….if not grotesque than certainly terribly idealistic and foolishly narcissistic.

I am very seriously contemplating an attempt at trying…to go on a stupid reality show.

Ok that didn’t sound pessimistic or passive. And I totally lied the show isn’t stupid unless stupid really means totally AWESOME! First off, it is NOT (contrary to anyone else’s belief) Intervention, Hoarders, or Celebrity Rehab. I prefer to deal with my ‘issues’ in the quiet privacy of my own cluttered home, thank you. With a nice big glass of wine. Just kidding. What I am not kidding about is the fact that I with complete and utter certainty think, that I could succeed, at LEAST to Round 2, on FoodNetwork’s latest cooking hit, Chopped.

If you haven’t seen it, other than being incredibly addictive, its dead simple to follow. The concept is ingenious to we who cook. A random menage of sous chefs, restaurant owners, cookbook writers, whatever…people in the food industry who think they have a lil gastro panache, all fighting for the opportunity to be on an episode. If chosen they compete with –typically– three other contestants. The contestants are given a kitchen, stocked with staples, and…a basket. And in the basket are ingredients–that may or may not, go together. They are super random. There are three courses: appetizer, entrée, dessert. The basket is different for each course.

You must incorporate all the ingredients into your dish–no exception. How you do this is really your choice, but you must choose wisely…and FAST. The time for each, from diagnosis to completion is really short — in fact, I am not sure how long but –never really long enough. So everyone is racing around Helter Skelter trying to make something out of nothing. What could be MORE FUN!?????

I have been really confident (and harping to MonkeyMan) about my ability to DO this for months –but last night? Oh last night I was sitting STRAIGHT UP in bed, wide awake, rigid with anxiety, CHOMPING at the bit.

They had swiss chard and collard greens in the same show. And not a one single person used either ingredient to it’s full potential. In fact, two of the contestants WHINED ad nueseum about their inability to determine HOW to use it. And that when I realized what this schtick is allllllllllllllllllll about. Not really knowledge, not really skill, maybe not really even creativity. Welllllll creativity is pretty key. But no. Science my friend! A mysterious blend of science and adventure! And how the heck do you ‘learn’ that? Well it doesn’t suck being a housewife and co-owner of a natural food business…on a tight income. It doesn’t suck that I know how to preserve food, I know chopping technique, timing, and the structure of nearly every vegetable. I told my husband the other day, when you GROW food…you KNOW food.

In other words, when you hold a seed in your hand, and you place it in the ground, and educate yourself on how to make that seed live, thrive, grow and produce flowers and fruit, you watch its evolution and become one with its process, and its progress. When it has reached maturation, you harvest it (correctly) you bring it in the house, inspect it, wash it, slice it (maybe) dice it (perhaps) and either store it, preserve it, or cook it. All of those procedures only induce you –almost by accident — to learn more about the food that you are cooking and become more acquainted with what happens to it when it is steamed, fried, boiled, mashed, frozen, etc. You also get super adventurous. You try things…things a student in a culinary institute would never try. I have eaten a lot of raw stuff, right off the vine. I have learned what NOT to do– real fast. And with a variety of subjects. We grow a ton of different types of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Things some people find foreign, and things that aren’t always used in a typical kitchen application.

So whaddya think? Am a just dreamer? Yes. And I always will be 🙂

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