I enjoy food as much as the next guy. In fact, I would venture to say, I eat for the shear pleasure. I never used to be this way. Most of my meals years ago had trouble staying in my mouth more than a few seconds before they hit the bottom of my stomach. I ate fast. I played hard. And lived for no tomorrow. Of course, I don’t do that anymore, and I’m happier and healthier for it.
I thought for Freedom Friday you’d appreciate a few tricks I have up my sleeve whenever I’m in the kitchen cooking a meal. I’ve always wanted to write these tips in a notebook, but how can that happen if I’m either in the kitchen cooking for the family or at my laptop writing other stuff? And don’t worry, although I write about zombies it doesn’t mean I am one. I’ll leave the undead to worry about eating brains.
Let me start by saying every kitchen needs a few basic ingredients. Salt, pepper, and olive oil make it almost into every meal. That’s why our family buys those ingredients in bulk. If you have a cold room or pantry, you can store the basics in there for a long time before you need to stock the shelves again. I suppose you can do the same thing with toilet paper, but I’d recommend not eating toilet paper.
Here’s something I’ve learned when I went on a one-year viewing binge of Food Network Canada. Chances are I picked up a thing or two here and there as I watched, however, one of the coolest tips I got from them has to do with knowing when the oil in the pan is hot enough for frying. All you do is wet your finger with water and allow a drop to fall to the pan. If the water snaps in the pan, then you know it’s perfect for frying.
Which reminds me, if you’re going to try this trick, make sure you stand well back from the pan. You don’t want to make your meal to-go, as in going to the hospital ‘cause your eye was an inch away from the pan.
You’d think holding a knife is easy. Not at Casa Flacco. When I’m cutting vegetables, I grasp the knife by the handle, curling my index finger to the side of the blade while my thumb leans on the other side, half on the blade and half of the handle. Not only is it safe, but you have better control of the cutting. With the other hand, I curl my fingers so as my fingernails fall at a ninety-degree angle on the vegetable. Then, I cut with a rhythm, rocking the knife on its tip as I bring the blade down on the vegetable. I learned this technique from one of these fancy-shmancy chefs in order to prevent a premature amputation of a digit.
Not so much a tip as it is a recommendation, but enjoying your food ranks up there with turning off the stove when you’re done with it. It involves not rushing through your meal so you can spend countless of senseless hours in front of a screen. I’ve done it many times and it doesn’t do justice to the digestive tract. Eating your food at a leisurely pace invokes a relaxed atmosphere conducive to pleasure. The food settles better, too. I know, it’s hard to do in this day and age where we’re rushing everywhere. But it beats ravaging a side of steer and washing it down with a gallon of gin.
Do you have any food tips you’d like to share? Are you a fast eater?