Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Adventures in cooking

Last night, I made the worst pot of chili in the history of chili. In fact, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to all chili for the monstrosity I created.

Now in my defense, I didn't set out to blacken the name of potted dishes everywhere. I just wanted to make dinner. But sometimes I can't help but experiment a little.

I'd blame The Food Channel for making me think I could add a dash of this and a dollop of that and have everything turn out as beautiful as it does when Giada DeLaurentiis decides to whip something up, but alas, I've been doing this for years. It's fun to mix up the routine. I'm the person who likes to drive a different route home every day. I can't stick to one brand of toothpaste. And recipes that you follow every time can get, well, boring.

Naturally, I married a guy who loves routine and planning.

He's been known to loiter in the kitchen when I'm experimenting with cooking. "But the recipe is fine," he's been known to utter.

Silly man.

Of course it is fine, but maybe I can make it better. Or simply different. You don't always want to have a predictable dinner. And a lot of the time it turns out really great.

"What did you do?" My husband has been known to gush.

"I took the road less traveled." Which makes him groan just a bit because he knows he's encouraging me.

Of course the experimenting can backfire, like it did last night. I could have taken predictable last night instead of the too-hot-yet-flavorless, couldn't-even-save-it-with-a-mound-of-sour-cream-and-crackers monster. I did eat it, though. No sense wasting food.

Luckily for my husband, he was out at the basketball game. But I'm sure he's going to be watching me close next time...


TerriOsburn said...

Even when I have a recipe, I manage to destroy a dish. It's so sad. But I've gotten daring lately. Sprinkled a tiny bit of garlic powder on the steak tips before cooking last night, and it wasn't bad. Of course, I forgot two other steps, but whatever.

Angie Fox said...

Ooh. I love using garlic. In fact, some of it went to die in last night's chili. Glad your steak tips turned out better!

MsHellion said...

Angie--bravo to you for your rebel bad self in the kitchen! I love experimenting in the kitchen even when it goes TERRIBLY, TERRIBLY wrong.

I've been cooking for as long as I've been allowed near a stove (which is much younger than you'd imagine)--and been experimenting almost as long. Yet despite all this experience, I burned up a pot of chicken I was BOILING (yes, that would imply a LIQUID) and ended up making an inch thick molten magma black crust on the bottom of my stainless steel pan. It took several washings to take, most... of the black spots. (Vinegar works wonders.)

Then two days later I set my oven on fire, but I caught it in time and everything is fine. I just need to clean my oven more often than I do. Like ever.

Robin Kaye said...

Seat of the pants writer, seat of the pants cook, yep, that's me. I dream a recipe and then have to get up and make it. So far it's been all good. My problem is telling people how to make what I make. They want recipes. I don't do recipes. So when readers started asking for recipes for the food in my books--in my mind, I put the recipe in there... I actually had to make the dish and measure everything I used. The few things I've had the patience to write recipes for are on my website if anyone is interested. It's gonna be a while before I add more to the list. Let's face it, measuring is annoying.

Angie Fox said...

I love it. You're right - even when things go terribly wrong, it is fun. And most of the time, they go right!

Cringes on the burned pan. I did that once with my nice copper bottomed chef's pan. I was grilling up some garlic and onions to make a sauce and got distracted. Eek.

Angie Fox said...

Ooh...I'll have to check those out, Robin. I do like recipes. I just need to fiddle with them occasionally. ;)

Christie Craig said...


I can't follow a recipe for the life of me. I have this unexplainable desire to make it my own, to add a little something to put my name on it. There's a lot of very bad dishes marked "Cooked by CC." LOL. But some of them turn out okay.

I'm cooking in a just a bit. It's hubby's birthday and I always cook special dinners for birthdays.

Have a great day.


catslady said...

I tend to do the same thing but luckily it usually (not always) turns out. Like my stuffing this year. Everyone said it was fine but I know it's been better. That's the problem with making something only once a year lol.

Tori Lennox said...

What does it say about me that this post is making me hungry for chili? ;)

Angie Fox said...

I have leftovers, Tori!