Last night, just after finishing my first post on Peanut Brittle, I received a text message from my good friend Brigid who lives in Los Angeles asking to know if I’ve thrown in the towel, tossed my aside my normal career path, and decided to be a full time chef. I told her not quite, but you know…I was secretly thinking…good lord I hope so!! Move over deb Perelman, Chef Grumpy’s coming to town!
What’s true and undeniable is that TheGrumpyGourmand is a long time coming. As you can see, here I am at about 2 or maybe 3 preparing to make some zuchini bread (or was it squash blossoms lightly fried and stuffed with lemon ricotta? ugh…I can’t remember!). Anyhow, in addition to always being such a good little helper, I can remember having always been pretty happy to be in the kitchen. Nothing beats making mandel bread with my mom from her mother’s disintegrating community cook book simply titled “Beverages Appetizers Dips.”
The Cookbook of Cookbooks!
Being in the kitchen and cooking something new is all about discovery. Finding the ingredients, mixing and matching, making a mess, discovering something that tastes amazing together for the first time-like cardamom and plums-is just awesome. I hope you know what I’m talking about. If not, I suggest you keep reading TheGrumpyGourmand so I can introduce you to some of these things 😉
This is not to say I am an expert cook. I’m definitely not. I continue to make mistakes, but I am persistent and curious (and also slightly OCD), so hopefully I will master some skills and dishes before they go on this site, so I can add some tips to make it easier for you.
As I cook my way from novice to expert, I’ve decided to issue myself a cookbook challenge. The challenge is really to find recipes that I can make and master going from easy to hard, learning along the way. My own cordon-bleu or french culinary institute at home and minus the 30,000-40,000+ USD price tag. ain’t nobody got time for that!
For now, I’ve found two old cookbooks from two great chefs to use as starts. My grandmother’s “Beverages Appetizers Dips” and Marian Burros “Elegant but Easy” cookbook published in 1967. A third I am starting with for desserts, is the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, which was a recent gift from my brother Andy and his wife Nicole.
If you have suggestions on how to map a progression of cooking skills (easy to hard) or want to issue me a cook book challenge feel free to give me a shout in the comments area below!