Wandering across the internet, searching for my next Cooking Challenge recipe, a stray thought hit me. Yes, I am the King of Stray Thoughts (hence the blog name). The thought is that I’m parched more frequently these days.
I cook more frequently these days
Sure, retirement means I don’t come home mentally and/or physically tired and wimp out on microwave meals, but cooking has also become a fun pastime.
I’m able to make food taste the way I like it. Using seasonings to my own measurements and mixtures. It’s fun, except for the inevitable clean-up.
I’m successful more frequently these days
Another benefit from all this self-cooking is that I’m actually getting good at it. Like most things, it’s rare to get “perfect”, but getting better each time is definitely possible.
So, my cooking more frequently these days leads to some truly satisfying results and only my restraint keeps me from being more frequently fat these days.
And yet, I’m frequently discovering new things
My tales of discovery (and embarrassment) extend far across my cooking background, well into my working years.
For example, I was in my 40’s when a friend of mine had me over for dinner. She was preparing a salad while the meal was cooking and I saw her cleaning carrots with some gadget.
I asked her what it was and she looked at me like I had a dead squirrel on my head.
“It’s a peeler,” she said. “Don’t you have one?”
I shook my head and said I clean carrots by angling a knife. I believe I had two dead squirrels on my head by then, but she let me stay for dinner anyway.
I’m discovering new things less frequently these days
Fortunately, my self-imposed cooking challenge has forced me to pickup a variety of items, gadgets and tricks along the way.
That means I don’t get as embarrassed by someone, say, at my barbecues pointing out some obvious kitchen trick I don’t know.
But, there are still moments that are cringe-worthy.
A very old dog learning old tricks
So, during the early days of my Cooking Challenge, I decided to try making something I fell in love with at Disney World. It is a dish called brewat.
I had a devil of a time finding an “official” recipe. And the preparing of it was, well, read all about it here…
But, the point is, that was the very first time I used parchment paper. The very first. I have been cooking for myself for over 35 years, am two months past my 59th birthday and I didn’t start using parchment paper until 2 years ago.
I’m parched more frequently these days
I use it all the time now. I mean, really, so many types of cooking or reheating can use parchment paper.
The advantages over a straight baking sheet or tin foil are numerous. The effect on the cooked food is different, too.
I love the stuff. Sure, I could bemoan my late-to-the-party status, but I’m happy to at least say I’m parched more frequently these days.