Saturday, November 17, 2012
The Hobgoblin: Consistency
So as the days shorten and my personal challenges to my cooking expertise increase, so have the challenges to the victim "Eaters" to critique the meals I serve them. Family and friends, and even Handsome Son have been stepping up to be food victims to a vast array of foods I have never attempted to cook for them before or have not prepared for decades.
I'm sort of like an athlete in training...
Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, and good chefs. Every plate of a given dish needs to be of the same (and excellent) consistency that it was the last time it was prepared. I have been in the process of proofing and standardizing my recipes, rather than leaving them to the tasting and adding a pinch of the this or a teaspoon of that. I will not be the only one preparing these dishes. They need to replicate-able by all.
I am still sifting through my muffin and quick breads for a signature collection. I'd like to develop a couple more go-to cookie recipes. And then there are the commercially-available personal serving size salad dressings I will most likely use for most of the salad I serve, that although as much as I would like, I do not see the time to actually prepare my own, not if I actually do make some of my own mayonnaise, aioli, and chutneys.
And bake my own breads...
I need to sort through and choose.
As I develop my menu with labor constraints, food safety,and holding in mind, I pick and choose those food less apt to flame me in this new career reincarnation-- without playing it too safe.
So in the last two days, in addition to working everyday. I have been cooking-- a lot.
Date and orange quick bread; warm white bean, albacore and spinach quesidillas; beef, mushroom and sweet heat red pepper stir fry farfalle with broccoli; slow pot chicken and bacon; raspberry chocolate roulade; and a meatloaf en croute; I should be taking pictures for you to drool over.
The Twins are going to grow up to be food critics, perhaps, instead of gardeners. And dear sister-in-law confides she can't get Baby Gardener to eat any solid foods, although even as she speaks he can smell the aromatic crock pot of slow cook chicken and bacon I hold and is reaching for it; although hardly suitable for first solid food status for Baby Gardener.