If I had to describe myself while cooking, it would be this way: A quitter.
I go from being excited to try my hand at cooking something new to pitching stuff in the trash because I added too much of something.
I will cast the blame for my attitude to my family members, who often wrinkle their noses when something that isn’t their same basic five meals is offered to them. Mainly, though, I’ll blame my dad, who to this day will stand over my shoulder while I’m trying to cook on the stove and tell me I’m doing it wrong.
Baking, on the other hand, I love. Mostly because it’s usually some form of dessert, so whatever frustrations I may have experienced while cooking disappear with the sugar intake.
But while stuck at home during this stay-at-home, work safe order, I got it into my head that I should take the opportunity to get more acquainted with cooking.
The first thing I learned is that I’m not too sure what the difference is between cooking and baking. Is using the stove cooking and the oven baking? Or are meals considered cooking and desserts and breads baking?
After this discovery — or non-discovery, I suppose — most of what I ended up making could probably still be considered baking.
I made taco casserole and overnight French toast. The former is made by cooking meat, beans, tomatoes, onions, cream of chicken soup and seasoning together on the stove and then layering it in a dish with tortilla chips before throwing it in the oven.
My nephew declared that I added too many tomatoes.
The overnight French toast I made with the thought of cooking, but I quickly realized it’s baking. I put slices of bread in a casserole dish and poured a mixture of eggs, milk and sugar over it. I put it in the fridge overnight and the next morning added brown sugar, butter and pecans on top before baking it.
I took about three bites and that’s it. It tasted good, but the amount of sugar in the dish had me feeling it almost instantly.
The second thing I learned was learning how to cook something during a pandemic might not be a great idea. Some ingredients I needed weren’t available at my local grocery store at the time I went. Like, I couldn’t buy buttermilk or sugar.
The item I’m proudest of making is homemade biscuits.
The recipe called for buttermilk, but without any on hand I was able to do a quick Google search, which told me I could substitute every cup of buttermilk with a cup of milk along with a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.
I made about 20 biscuits in the morning for breakfast. The leftovers were all gone by the end of the day.
However, my dad told me they weren’t flaky enough.
The last thing I learned is that I don’t like recipe books. Whenever I make something new I tend to browse the internet for a recipe. This week I attempted about three different recipes from the same cookbook and I wasn’t overly impressed with any of them. Online recipes usually have reviews you can look at, plus if one recipe has an ingredient you don’t like, it’s easy to look for another recipe of the same dish.
Send me recipes at email@example.com.