Thursday, June 10, 2010

YES, I made it!!! (Cranky post)

I spend a fair amount of time (seriously, too much) at a couple of food oriented websites. My favorite is, which is a wonderful site - a good size (not so many people that you feel lost in the crowd), accomplished cooks and people who are always ready to help or answer a question. Because of its smaller size, I feel like I've really gotten to know folks there. The other posters remember my issues and questions and will email me months later with new solutions they have found. Its a wonderful place and I've even convinced Mr. Kim to join to show off his smoker prowess.

One thing that I love about these sites is that when I show them something that I've served, no one ever says, "Did you actually make that?", which is a question I get a lot in 'real' life. I find myself slightly affronted and perplexed by that question. I don't do anything really 'out there'. I don't own an immersion circulator - no sous vide going on in MY house (though I secretly yearn to try it out). I shop for most of my ingredients at Kroger, not a high end gourmet shop. I can't do fancy piping worth a dern, so all of my cakes are scattered with assorted edible flotsam. I do care about the quality of the food I serve and I am very interested in food and cooking.

So, yes, I actually roasted that chicken and poached those eggs and put together flour and sugar and eggs and made a cake from scratch. All of which is, apparently, boggle-worthy. I am no food snob. I eat way too many double cheeseburgers from McD's and Hardee's sausage biscuits for that. And I adore Chick-fil-A sandwiches and slaw (but NOT those weird potatoes). My dinner last night was fish tacos. Sounds impressive, huh? Well, maybe, until I confess that Mrs. Paul (dear woman) made the fish fillets, Durkee made the tartar sauce and those nice people at Fresh Express sliced the angel hair cabbage. All I did was heat, squirt and fold everything in a flour tortilla. My only 'gourmet' touch was to sprinkle on a little lime juice.

That question ("Did you actually make that?", if you have gotten lost in my verbosity) makes me wonder WHAT is it that other people eat that makes them regard me as 'set apart' as a cook? This week, I've had Sloppy Joes, pressure cooker beef stew and what amounts to fish stick tacos. My last 'big bash' was Mother's Day. For that I served quiche, sausage rolls, chicken casserole (made with the dreaded cream of mushroom glop soup), green salad, fruit salad and 2 kinds of cake - one of which was from a mix. What, in that menu, is intimidating or difficult? IS there anything less work than Sloppy Joes made with canned sauce? Other than a feeding tube, I can't imagine that there is.

I love feeding people - it is one of the things in life that gives me the most satisfaction - both at home and at work. I love the appreciation. But when the awe creeps in, it really makes me wonder.


  1. Oh Kim, I thought that Senora Gorton's fish tacos was our own culinary discovery. They're pretty good, aren't they? ;-)

    But I'm as puzzled as you are, because it's happened to me. Since when did getting a simple meal on the table become an awe-inspiring feat?

  2. I, too, wonder. Chicken goes into the oven---chicken comes out browned and tender---dear me---what's the big deal?

    The worst example of that "awe" in my life was cause of a real embarrassment at CHURCH, no less. We gathered in the choir room one Sunday morning, and a pretty young wife gave me a look of such spite that I actually looked over my shoulder---SURELY she wasn't aiming those daggers at ME.

    And THEN, she hissed at her husband in less than sotto tones: Why don't you sit by HERRRR? You like HERRR cookin!"

    When I got to the bottom of the hullabaloo, it turns out that when said husband and a friend were at our house working on my car the day before, I'd asked them in for Saturday Supper.

    The "bone" of contention? PINTO BEANS.

    It seemed that anything that complicated and time-consuming must surely be a threat to a novice cook.

    And I was very thankful they cleared that up then and there, before the Doxology---the spat was over cookin'---not my virtue.

  3. Maggie - - yes, they were pretty good. I repeated the meal last night!

    Rachel - The ONLY jealousy that I've ever been subjected to in my life has been culinary jealousy. I didn't know whether to be insulted or flattered.

    Of course, since the three of us met on a food website, we ARE preachin' to the choir a bit here! : ^)

  4. I think the reason why people make those comments is because they don't spend the same amount of time we do when it comes to thinking about food, talking about food or cooking.

    I guess we're wired differently. :)