Thursday, June 01, 2006

essential recipes

Ack, muggy day here. Made for cranky NMs running on no sleep and lack of enthusiasm for their appointed tasks.

However, we had an upright basset day, a good walk/snuffle and after having angst over muddy orange flats (sigh) and what to do have for dinner, I made chocolate chip cookies.

What does this have to do with recipes?

What are your essential recipes, the top 10 recipes that are your foundation for cooking/entertaining and living?

Here are mine

Baking: toll house cookies (from heart baby)
pate brisee
pound cake

Eating/life sustaining: Roast chicken
Meat loaf
Stewed meat/some sort of stew (chicken, beef)
pumpkin/squash root vegetable soup with a cream base
basics: chicken stock
: cream sauce
: red sauce
: some sort of green sauce/salsa verde/agliata/pesto

With these simple things you can make dinner for ever including leftovers.

I keep these recipes close to me, some are memorized, some are in a notebook that I carry with me when travelling to places that I may end up cooking. Its crammed with all sorts of recipes and things from cooking classes I took. I treasure the book and refer to it often.

I know we live in world where its easy to run to the store and get ready made food and sometimes its worth it. But you know that you will season the chicken to your taste and that it won't be so salty that you can't make a decent stock with the leftovers. I know you can run to the bakery and pick up some cookies, but honestly, they just won't taste homemade, they'll be pallid, greasy and often times taste like plastic.

With a stick of butter, a cup of oatmeal, brown sugar, lemon zest, flour, some cake spice, toasted walnuts and three bags of blackberries you picked last summer you can make many people happy in May. You can do the same with the hundreds of apples that you picked a vowed to make into sauce in October, but up the cinnamon, will ya?

Cooking takes time, patience and creativity, things that we're happy to apply to other things that occupy our time. Taking time to sit with the paper and read the headlines while dinner is in the oven, no matter how depressing the news may be,walking the dog while the chicken is in the oven or deadheading while the artichokes are burbling is a lost 30 minutes of our time that needs to be recaptured to keep us sane.

What are your essential recipes?

1 comment:

jk said...

interesting. I'll work on this when I return.