As a cook, what would the current you say to the old you?

TastyReuben

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I'm kind of the opposite with the "new things" subject.

There are a few things that are favorites, but by and large, I'd say over 80% of non-breakfast meals I make, are things I've never made before.

I wish I could be more disciplined to say to myself, "Self, pick 20 things, and those 20 things are what you're making from now on, with the exception that you can make something new every 10th meal."

Growing up, we rarely ever ate out, but we had puh-lenty to eat, living on a farm; beef, chicken, eggs, pork (so much pork!), fruit and veg, but when I think about it, Mom didn't have a huge variety in her cooking repertoire - pork chops, burgers, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, chili, ham, etc. Veg was always just whatever that veg was, like green beans, simmered it water with a hunk of pork added, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Lots of potatoes, every meal.

I wish I was able to do that, but it seems like every time I go to cook, I either reach for a book or for Google and find something that way. My most common search phrase is probably "What to do with <ingredient>" - which means I feel like I'm always meal researching and reading a recipe, because I've never made anything enough to get it down to memory.
 

Timenspace

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I'm in that spot right now. I want to cook, and do new things... but motivation is low these cold winter days. Hopefully my old self would be smart enough not to try to jolly me out of this (hopefully temporary) mode.
Oh, how about some colourful fruits and veggies? Months ago, we played a game, we would each have to pick something new from the store, like a food we never had before...even if it is just a different yoghurt...or tea flavour...? Hang on ! Winter shall pass! Sooner or later...I have seen saffron flowers, it is chilly about 2C still...but it is sunnier...
 

rascal

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I'm kind of the opposite with the "new things" subject.

There are a few things that are favorites, but by and large, I'd say over 80% of non-breakfast meals I make, are things I've never made before.

I wish I could be more disciplined to say to myself, "Self, pick 20 things, and those 20 things are what you're making from now on, with the exception that you can make something new every 10th meal."

Growing up, we rarely ever ate out, but we had puh-lenty to eat, living on a farm; beef, chicken, eggs, pork (so much pork!), fruit and veg, but when I think about it, Mom didn't have a huge variety in her cooking repertoire - pork chops, burgers, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, chili, ham, etc. Veg was always just whatever that veg was, like green beans, simmered it water with a hunk of pork added, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Lots of potatoes, every meal.

I wish I was able to do that, but it seems like every time I go to cook, I either reach for a book or for Google and find something that way. My most common search phrase is probably "What to do with <ingredient>" - which means I feel like I'm always meal researching and reading a recipe, because I've never made anything enough to get it down to memory.

Most of the things I love are things I grew up with, you not so much??
Except veges boiled with half a pound of salt,lol.

Russ
 

Timenspace

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I'm kind of the opposite with the "new things" subject.

There are a few things that are favorites, but by and large, I'd say over 80% of non-breakfast meals I make, are things I've never made before.

I wish I could be more disciplined to say to myself, "Self, pick 20 things, and those 20 things are what you're making from now on, with the exception that you can make something new every 10th meal."

Growing up, we rarely ever ate out, but we had puh-lenty to eat, living on a farm; beef, chicken, eggs, pork (so much pork!), fruit and veg, but when I think about it, Mom didn't have a huge variety in her cooking repertoire - pork chops, burgers, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, chili, ham, etc. Veg was always just whatever that veg was, like green beans, simmered it water with a hunk of pork added, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Lots of potatoes, every meal.

I wish I was able to do that, but it seems like every time I go to cook, I either reach for a book or for Google and find something that way. My most common search phrase is probably "What to do with <ingredient>" - which means I feel like I'm always meal researching and reading a recipe, because I've never made anything enough to get it down to memory.
Oh that is awesome, I admire that diversity! I like twisting things too, like I even tried a flax seed and chia seed bread, just these two ingredients, oh and water, and baked it....but I think if a new meal fails, I will rarely go back to the exactly the same and try to improve it, I mean why would I, when there is plenty to choose from, differently for the next one...however, I do get stuck with food I prepare for my kid. And the things like cheese that I grab for on the quick go...my Grandma was an excellent cook, she lived with us, and she would do chicken and plums, Cuban pancakes, things I then considered exotic and delicious...
 

TastyReuben

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Most of the things I love are things I grew up with, you not so much??
Except veges boiled with half a pound of salt,lol.

Russ
I like what I grew up with fine, but I just don't cook that way.

My folks (especially my dad) wouldn't have anything he thought of as foreign in the house, so no Chinese food, no pizza, no lasagna, no (Tex-)Mexican, and the only spaghetti he'd allow was from a box mix, with a powdered sauce mix.

A typical meal would have been:

Pan-fried pork chops
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Green beans and ham
Corn (either on the cob or off)
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced raw onion
Bread and butter
Pickles of some sort
Pie or cake for dessert

Mom had probably a dozen things like that, that nowadays would be called "good country cooking," but she never wavered from it. Chicken and dumplings and lima beans and beets and boiled potatoes one night, chili and cornbread and skillet-fried potatoes and sliced cucumbers the next night, pork chops, etc the night after that, chicken soup and all the usual stuff the night after that. It never varied. Pork chops usually every third night, always sliced tomatoes when they were growing, every meal, always sliced onions, bread and butter, every meal. It's just the meat and the veg changed a bit.
 
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I'm in that spot right now. I want to cook, and do new things... but motivation is low these cold winter days. Hopefully my old self would be smart enough not to try to jolly me out of this (hopefully temporary) mode.

It’s definitely a seasonal thing. I have the same kind of thing happen around this time every year. I know this is pretty common. But, the sun is shining, even though temperature is still in the 30s, and I suddenly feel more optimistic. I am actually planning on making something tonight.
 

caseydog

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It’s definitely a seasonal thing. I have the same kind of thing happen around this time every year. I know this is pretty common. But, the sun is shining, even though temperature is still in the 30s, and I suddenly feel more optimistic. I am actually planning on making something tonight.

I go through the winter blues every year around January-February. I take meds for anxiety and OCD year-around, but January-February are the months I actually feel some degree of depression. It's not severe, I can still do what I need to do, but it does have an effect on my desire to cook more than necessary.

On the plating subject, there are some people (Morning Glory) who find plating to be an enjoyable creative outlet. Other people don't care what their food looks like, it's all about the cooking and eating. I'm sort of in the middle. If I make something I want to share on an online forum, I will try to make it look nice on the plate, and take time to make a nice photograph (although I don't put as much effort into the photograph as I could). Plating is just not a natural talent for me, and haven't been motivated to focus on doing it better.

CD
 
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TastyReuben

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I'm sort of in the middle.
Anything I post, that's most likely how I'd plate it anyway.

My thing with plating is that I want my food to look "right" - which usually means I'm looking for some kind of symmetry (which I don't always get) and, for lack of a better word, harmony (which I get even less).

If you look at this post:

Show me your breakfast

I plated two omelettes. Mine (the second one) was fine, but my wife's...I noticed as soon as I took the pic that I'd put the omelette on left side, when it should have gone on the right side (or I should have flipped the omelette).

I figured it was ok, since it wasn't mine, but when we sat down to eat, I couldn't stop staring at hers, and I had to reach over and fix it. It was driving me crazy, because it was so...unbalanced is probably the word I'm looking for.
 

caseydog

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Anything I post, that's most likely how I'd plate it anyway.

My thing with plating is that I want my food to look "right" - which usually means I'm looking for some kind of symmetry (which I don't always get) and, for lack of a better word, harmony (which I get even less).

If you look at this post:

Show me your breakfast

I plated two omelettes. Mine (the second one) was fine, but my wife's...I noticed as soon as I took the pic that I'd put the omelette on left side, when it should have gone on the right side (or I should have flipped the omelette).

I figured it was ok, since it wasn't mine, but when we sat down to eat, I couldn't stop staring at hers, and I had to reach over and fix it. It was driving me crazy, because it was so...unbalanced is probably the word I'm looking for.

I am all about balance in my photographs, but I HATE symmetry.

In your omelet photo, both plates were "balanced." I think what bothered you is that the curve of the omelet didn't match the curve of the plate, like yours did. That wouldn't bother me if it was served to me for breakfast -- I doubt I would even notice.

CD
 
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rascal

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I like what I grew up with fine, but I just don't cook that way.

My folks (especially my dad) wouldn't have anything he thought of as foreign in the house, so no Chinese food, no pizza, no lasagna, no (Tex-)Mexican, and the only spaghetti he'd allow was from a box mix, with a powdered sauce mix.

A typical meal would have been:

Pan-fried pork chops
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Green beans and ham
Corn (either on the cob or off)
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced raw onion
Bread and butter
Pickles of some sort
Pie or cake for dessert

Mom had probably a dozen things like that, that nowadays would be called "good country cooking," but she never wavered from it. Chicken and dumplings and lima beans and beets and boiled potatoes one night, chili and cornbread and skillet-fried potatoes and sliced cucumbers the next night, pork chops, etc the night after that, chicken soup and all the usual stuff the night after that. It never varied. Pork chops usually every third night, always sliced tomatoes when they were growing, every meal, always sliced onions, bread and butter, every meal. It's just the meat and the veg changed a bit.

Completely different from mine.

Russ
 

TastyReuben

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I think what bothered you is that the curve of the omelet didn't match the curve of the plate, like yours did.
Yeah, that's exactly what bothered me. Had it been mine, I wouldn't have been able to eat it until it was fixed. When I fixed my wife's, I think I even asked her, "How in the hell are you even eating that?!?!"
 

Timenspace

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I like what I grew up with fine, but I just don't cook that way.

My folks (especially my dad) wouldn't have anything he thought of as foreign in the house, so no Chinese food, no pizza, no lasagna, no (Tex-)Mexican, and the only spaghetti he'd allow was from a box mix, with a powdered sauce mix.

A typical meal would have been:

Pan-fried pork chops
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Green beans and ham
Corn (either on the cob or off)
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced raw onion
Bread and butter
Pickles of some sort
Pie or cake for dessert

Mom had probably a dozen things like that, that nowadays would be called "good country cooking," but she never wavered from it. Chicken and dumplings and lima beans and beets and boiled potatoes one night, chili and cornbread and skillet-fried potatoes and sliced cucumbers the next night, pork chops, etc the night after that, chicken soup and all the usual stuff the night after that. It never varied. Pork chops usually every third night, always sliced tomatoes when they were growing, every meal, always sliced onions, bread and butter, every meal. It's just the meat and the veg changed a bit.
Wow, now that was an interesting part of your childhood shared here, thank you. I wonder if you felt like that was just hte way the world is back then, but now you are thinking, hm, where is all the other food...although back in those days, depending on where you were as in how far from shops that would offer different ingredients, like glass noodles and such, it might have not been as available as it is today...I remember buying a cookbook, an Indian ... 'simplest' Indian traditional meals, during my study abroad, and to me that was the ultimate adventure, the ultimate newness...I don't think prior to the cookbook that I have been to an Indian restaurant...not that there wasn't one in my city, but we just did not eat out...and on the other hand, for some people, your meals would have been THE excitement, the thrilling otherness...Oh yes, you reminded me, I remember our homemade pickles, such a treat, cauliflower and carrots and green tomatoes pickled were my absolute favourite, the taste was amazing...
 

Timenspace

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Completely different from mine.

Russ
Really? What was your eating tradition while growing up?
(When you said you were from New Zealand, I thought of two things: first, it was supposed to be my honeymoon destination (it never was), second, I loved Annabel Langbein's TV cooking show, she made such good use and reuse of food components, and had the most amazing garden ever, it really looked like a reflection of paradise on Earth, she grew a lot of vegetables, and me growing up in a city, in a flat, it was stunning, and still is to see a person walk out the door, into a garden, pick ingredients and cook, really like a fairy tale) :) ...
 
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