Cooking Skills, Present or Not
I'm sure everyone has certain odd memories that stick with them no matter what. One thing that has stcuk with me, is a drawing my friend Bobby Di did in 5th grade. He was one of the two or so "good artists" in our class, and I was always jealous with his ability to draw things that looked like they really were. So, I tried to pay attention to how he did it. One day, we were drawing hot dogs, that part I forget why, but I always remember how his hot dog looked so realistic, so life-like. He had added a few small lines at the end of the hot dog, showing the point where the sausage links come together. It gave the impression of bulk, of a hot dog. I realized that it was not so much a steady hand that made him the good artist, it was his ability to pick up on the bitsiest detail that made something look right. I could never draw like Bobby but I can cook.
Perhaps because I've eaten great food for so many years (thanks Mom, thanks CQ), I seem to instictively know how to make good food. I do not have a wide repotoire, and I avoid dishes that require precision. What I can make, most of the time, I can make very well. Like Bobby Di, I seem to know the right amount of seasoning or the right amount to cook something. I'm not bragging because I know a lot of people who can cook even better than me. I'm posting because, skilled as I may be, I have a real big problem in the kitchen. I cannot toss a salad.
I've written before on my love of big salads or chopped salads, usually a mess of cubed fresh vegetables with something leftover, like today, rotisserie chicken. I've become adapt at the chopping, make a great mustard vinegriette, season very aggressively especially with cracked black pepper. It all tastes great EVEN if all of the good stuff gathers on the bottom. I have tried several copied or observed methods to toss my salads. I've used tongs, spoons, fork and spoon, the flip (OK, I've not quite mastered that one). At the end of the day, I have lettuce on top, stuff underneath. I wanted total mixture so that each bite is like the last and each taste is such powerful combination of ingredients it tastes like nothing I have ever tasted before. Can anyone help