Taking Dinner Up a Notch

Okay, I think about cooking a lot more than I should.  I don’t actually cook that much, but I love food.  Also, I get some weirdly similar joy out of cookbooks and romance novel blurbs (just the blurbs).  People say things that sound so utterly absurd to me.  Reading a few sentences from either type of writing usually guarantees a laugh.  Yes, I find romance novels and cooking high-quality meals equally ridiculous.

This is my absurd cooking quote of the day: “Ad Hoc at Home has over 200 recipes that you and I can cook without a battalion of sous-chefs and cutting-edge culinary equipment… The recipes will take your everyday dinners up a big notch: Keller brines his chicken and pork, adds pistachios to sauteed cabbage, caramelizes sea scallops and serves peaches with mascarpone cream.”*

That makes me laugh.  In what sense are brined chicken, pistachio-laced sauteed cabbage, and carmelized sea scallops in any way related to my everyday dinners?  My everyday dinners consist of sandwiches, store brand Easy Mac, and the weekly cooking experiment.  Granted, they did say that the recipes would take my dinners up a “big notch,” but that’s one heck of a notch!  If that notch were on a mountainside, I could build a resort on it, complete with wrap-around sun porch and a grassy knoll.

Twice in the last two weeks, I’ve been forced to open every window in the vicinity of my kitchen because there was a large quantity of smoke coming from the stove.  Hmm.  The best part is that it was about 28 degrees on both occasions, and my neighbors definitely watched me fan my smoke detector with my sweater as smoke flowed out the windows.  I hope they appreciate all of the free entertainment they gained when I moved in next door (“Honey, you won’t believe what that girl is up to tonight!!!  She’s trying to install a chandelier by herself!”).  Don’t think I’ll be leaping into Ad Hoc at Home any time soon.

*Note: After finishing this post, I looked up brining techniques and discovered that it is actually a really simple process.  Maybe I could in fact try?  But even with that in mind, it’s still a big leap from Easy Mac to brined pork and pistachio cabbage.

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