Sep 16, 2009

Chef Wiwille

On the long lonely drive home back from the beach this weekend I started thinking. I just left my extended family to realize that I'm one of three in my generation that has never been married and childless. The creeping image of a life that may serve nothing but myself can be depressing, but as I was taught I choose to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

It was then I decided I really need to sharpen my skills in my personal life and start taking a little pride in the trivial. First order of business is I need to work on my culinary skills.

For years my diet has consisted of breakfast cereal (usually Special K or Raisin Bran) in the mornings, bowl of soup and an apple for lunch, and a small chicken dish with a simple salad for dinner. Easy, nutritious, and about as exciting as getting my teeth cleaned.

I posted a question on Facebook asking all my friends to recommend a good cook book. I got quite a few responses for which I'm grateful. I wrote them all down and headed towards the nearest Barnes & Noble.

After I ordered my coffee I head to the cook book section and was immediately overwhelmed with the large selection. It was larger than US History for crying out loud. I picked up 'The Joy of Cooking' which seemed a little overwhelming and browsed through other recommendations, but then in the bargain bin section I found it. Titled 'A Man, A Can, A Plan' the book is geared towards guys who are not exactly kitchen friendly. Easy to follow instructions with simple ingredients, the publishers of Men's Health unleashed this book on the public with surprisingly low calorie dishes.

It was cheap so I purchased it, but sadly there was another book that was suggested to me that wasn't available at that store. I called a friend of mine and asked her if she had any recommendations on good cook books. Her first title was 'A Man, A Can, A Plan' of which she loves.

"No shit," I said. "That's exactly what I just bought."

I called another friend and asked her to meet me at another Barnes & Noble. We browsed and she had some good tips on Alton Brown and Betty Crocker, both of which were highly recommended, but I chose to get 'Help My Apartment Has a Kitchen' and some Rachel Ray 30 minute meals for guys. Yes I bought a Rachel Ray book. Yes I'm ashamed.

So this means Wiwille will spend time perfecting his culinary skills. I'll keep you informed of the progress of my latest mid-life crisis.

"I love to have battles of the wits with people that can dish fast and dirty - and it leads to problems occasionally, 'cause I can sound mean without attempting to be mean." - Alton Brown


wigsf said...

Screw culinery skills! The Colonel delivers, man.

Mattbear said...

Your man-can-plan book maybe good for everyday cooking, but if you really want to learn to cook well, I suggest taking the sage advice of Robert Rodriguez.

Learn one complex dish or meal. Cook it as often as you can stand until you have it down. Then add another to your repertoire. Repeat until you have a good portfolio of quality dishes you can make consistently.

Miss Ash said...

I find my cookbooks collect dust unfortuantely or I try something new and despise it.

That book sounds perfect for you though so good luck and let us know how it goes.

elizab said...

Good advice from Matt there, but I would take it one step further...get to know your favourite ingredients really well, then you don't even need recipes. Being able to whip up something tasty and original off the top of your head *really* impresses the ladies...