One of the topics I wish to discuss is the difference I perceive between following recipes and cooking. Do not misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with using recipes; they are quite useful, and allow someone to attempt dishes they may never have been exposed to before. However, learning how to cook is about a lot more than simply following recipes.
Learning how to cook involves learning why you do certain steps in a recipe. Being told to fry the chopped onion for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat is only really useful if you know what the end result is supposed to look like, and not all stovetop burners heat to the same temperature when set to medium.
My other major complaint with a recipe approach to cooking is the waste of ingredients that tends to occur. You’ll buy what you need, use part of it for the recipe, and suddenly you’re left with all these ingredients you don’t know what to do with. This is a cycle we want to avoid!
In my blog, I don’t just want to share recipes; I want to help people learn how to cook. Cooking can be a lot of fun, and a very satisfying experience.
And hey, as my dad put it to me back in high school, knowing how to whip up a tasty meal is never a bad thing when there’s a girl you’re trying to impress. And the opposite holds true too (and half opposite – girl impressing girl, or guy impressing guy).
Yes, I realize the grammar of the title is wrong, but I enjoyed the end rhyme.
These past two weeks have been a lot of fun, and very instructive.
First of all, writing is difficult. Not the writing per say, though that certainly can be a challenge, but rather the selling yourself to potential clients. There are a few clients I am waiting to hear back from, including one very promising lead of a job translating between French and English, but so far I have made most of my money writing for a general article mill company. Although the rate per article is low, selecting articles that can be properly researched and written quickly makes it a fairly reasonable source of income at the moment.
The fish in the Vancouver area is excellent. So far we have purchased lingcod and sole from a fishmonger at the local market. The lingcod was absolutely fantastic, easy to cook and prepare, with a very meaty texture; we cooked it by covering it in bread crumbs and pan frying it in sesame oil. The sole I will be preparing tonight, using a baked lemon sole recipe. I will also be preparing a black rice risotto to go with it, along with some pan-fried burdock root. These are all new recipes, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out, but I expect it to be delicious.
Last weekend we visited the Vancouver Aquarium, and it is an experience I strongly recommend. The layout of the aquarium is excellent, with areas for the various animals. My favourite of the outdoor animals was likely the lone sea otter in one tank, which was continuously spinning around in the water while grooming itself. The indoor exhibits were also a lot of fun; the tropical area completely astounded me with how well it was done. There is a section of it that you can actually walk through, with various birds, butterflies and apparently sloths (we never saw any) all moving through the trees around you.
This weekend we plan on hiking up Grouse Mountain, a trail nicknamed the Grouse Grind. We expect it to take us two hours; it will be interesting to see how well we will manage it.