Facing your cooking fears

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On this morning’s radio spot we talked about making stuff at home you’d normally not even consider attempting. For me it’s about facing my cooking fears and not being so scared of a kitchen disaster.

Yes, making stuff at home takes longer than picking it up off a supermarket shelf.

Yes, making stuff at home means you have to be a bit more organised and even, sigh, plan ahead.

But I’m here to say the results are so definitely worth it.

Take my no knead bread for example. You don’t even need to be that organised. Combine the ingredients (taking 5 minutes tops) in the morning. Come home from work, knead 10-15 times. After dinner bake. It’s seriously a no-brainer – and you end up with a loaf of bread comparable to an artisan loaf you’d probably out fork $6-$8 for for about a quarter of the cost.

Do it. DO IT!

So what’s your cooking fear, your baking nemesis?

Mine is choux pastry. Recipes for it sit and stare at me. One day I will take a deep breath and go for it.

I still have stir-fry disasters but they are largely because I commit the cardinal sin of over-loading the wok. I know I should do things bit by bit and can totally do that when it comes to browning off meat but then the idea of just stir-frying smaller portions? It just makes me tired.

Things people said on Facebook and Twitter this morning included:

Hollandaise – a popular fear-inducer. I still get Chef to make it when needed.

Frying – totally understand this. Deep frying did scare the bejeebus out of me until Gourmet Girlfriend put me onto using rice bran oil – it’s higher smoking point makes it the go-to for deep frying success in my books.

Meringue – I get that. You really need a stand mixer and they can be pernickety – humidity, egg freshness, oven temperature all play a part but hell, at the end of the day smother it in whipped cream and all will be fine.

Sponge cake – again, a stand mixer will make this far less scary. Mind you, the first one I ever made was way back in high school and the notion of ‘delicate’ eluded me. Mum cut it with the electric knife. Not my finest hour.


So what scares you? What do you think of a series of masterclass posts?



Written by allconsuming

July 19th, 2012 at 11:23 am