Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cook Up Some Stress Relief

As I've mentioned previously, we don't have a lot of money for, like, well...anything entertainment-wise. It's all down to the wire here. One of the things that we had to cut way, way, way back on is eating out. Basically, we don't eat out anymore (excepting extremely rare circumstances).

Obviously, if you're used to going out to eat and you need to cut out, there's only one option:

You have to dig up the people in the cemetery in your backyard and use their dried jerky flesh for sustenance.

Wait, what? You don't--? Nevermind.

If you don't have a cemetery to raid for the sweet, sweet taste of corpse jerky, you probably cook.

And so I've been trying my hand at cooking. I like it. A lot.

It all started when Netflix added a bunch of episodes of Good Eats. I had never seen the show, and I was instantly hooked. The show was strange, like a cooking Bill Nye (or maybe Beakman's World?). The science of cooking given in plain English, with practical tips, and funny to boot.

My wife had high-blood pressure for a while and got put on a low salt-diet temporarily, and we learned that processed foods have astronomical levels of salt. In addition, they just don't really taste all that great.

But you can't go making every single thing from scratch. If you have a job, it's just not practical. So it's a balancing act of finding either  decent quality premade things to use for shortcuts, or things you can make from scratch relatively quickly.

There's something about cooking that's very soothing for me. I know cooking is an art form, and I know there's a certain level of creativity that comes with it, but...I don't have to think about cooking like I do writing or work. I just switch into autopilot and fly about the kitchen assembling delicious treats. The act of combining all these various things together into something new is very fun, AND you get deliciousness at the end.

An interesting thing I've noticed, though, is how out of touch even the most down to earth chefs are. It's like they forget what the average American can afford, either monetarily or time-wise.

For example: I am absolutely not willing to spend $200 on a single pan. I do not care. No. That's absurd.

I'm not willing to spend $100 on a knife. I don't care what the "quality" is.

I notice the same snootiness to a lot of food ingredients as well.

It's something I've read a little about, but would love to read more.

In the meantime, this new hobby has really relieved a lot of stress in a pretty stressful time. I'll try to post some recipes around here when I get the chance.

PS - If you have any recipe suggestions, hit me up in the comments!