Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Cooking: garnish with love

For Eric, an experimental jazz-chef of the highest order

When cooking, the resulting food is often mistaken as that which we should love. Instead, while the meal is the purpose of cooking, to be truly rewarded for cooking a meal it is the food-making process itself which we should learn to enjoy.

Show respect for the utensils and cooking space. Love the technology, keep everything clean. If the kitchen looks like a bomb-site post cooking then you've gone wrong. Some are prone to putting food on a hob, going to the living room to watch the goggle-box and returning 10 minutes later to find that some of their shit-about-to-be-slopped-on-a-plate pap has become burnt and stuck to the base of the pan. It's baffling to think that some twits think the food will just cook itself.

Another faux pas is to slap the shit-on-tray faff and rush off to the dining table/armchair to cram the sludge down your gob as quickly as possible. Instead, serve the food and rinse out the pots and pans used so washing up later doesn't involve scraping, rubbing, sanding and too much general elbow grease.

Don't add salt unless absolutely necessary (i.e. lowering the temperature of water to boil pasta). Give the eater the option of adding salt to the finished dish himself. It's an absolute tit-up to make food, only to find that the eater would have prefered less salt.