Welcome to Back in the Kitchen, a weekly feature documenting my development from culinary rube to chef de cuisine.
Using primarily ingredients from Sunseed Farm, I--with the help of my gracious housemates--will push beyond my current repertoire, which teeters off around tomato soup and Meijer-brand mac and cheese. A dash of pepper here, a dollop of sour cream there, a twist, a kick, a pirouette; I will become the Alvin Ailey of food, and this linoleum floor will be my stage.
Full disclosure: I was a much worse cook in college, when Ramen with chopped-up carrots pretty much exhausted my gastronomical prowess. Since then, I've learned to put a metal spoon in my mouth while slicing onions so my eyes don't tear up. My potato salad was a hit at our housewarming last year, my garlicky green beans are the only kind Quinn likes to eat, and, for Sunday brunch this week, I mastered poached eggs on my first try.
Unprecedented progress though this is, my Oma, with palpable embarrassment, still shakes her head and wonders, "Do you know how to cook anything at all? Or does Ben still cook everything?"
Excuse me, Oma: I diced those tomatoes. After asking what "dicing" meant.
Nevertheless, always room for improvement, and so forth. So follow me, if you will, as I get Back in the Kitchen, that steamy Hades that we women just can't seem to leave behind, that homey hearth where we eat cheesecakes in the middle of the night.
Let's hope I can stand the heat in here.