Welcome to Questionable Gourmet, a new feature on MattBooker.info where I post about the things I like to cook. Most of it will be original recipes. All of it stuff I find interesting.
For a bit of background (and a warning), I’m self taught when it comes to making food. I grew up with meat and taters, and my mom did the vast majority of the cooking.
It wasn’t ’til I moved out on my own that I started cooking, but even then it was just to get me through those times when fast food wasn’t feeling much like food. Box mixes weren’t too difficult, just mixing the stuff and baking it for how long it suggested. Canned food was even easier. :)
Then I was dating a girl that said she liked to cook. Notice how I worded that? Saying you like to cook and cooking well are different things. Most of it wasn’t bad, even if it wasn’t good, but the last culinary straw came when she tried to make burgers. They looked like hockey pucks!
If hockey pucks were raised in the middle.
So, kind of like a mix of a football and a hockey puck.
That I could not stand for. Meat should be butchered, but not that kind of butchered. Over the course of a few weeks, I started cooking burgers. I hadn’t done it before, and it took a few tries to get the method where I wanted it. There were some that didn’t come out right, but all of them were various kinds of tasty.
And during that, I realized something.
I could cook burgers! Awesome!
So I ate burgers every day for a while. It made the other food taste better, knowing I could make a burger later.
And I had learned something else, even if I hadn’t completely realized it yet.
Cooking isn’t difficult. It’s fun.
But since I hadn’t really realized that yet, and I was enamored with my new found ability to make one of the ultimate man foods, I didn’t look into it much further. Maybe if I’d learned to make something less epic, like a salad or the humble but delicious pudding, perhaps then I would have spread out into other edible endeavors. But why sweat the small potatoes? I could make burgers!
I would later discover that small potatoes are delicious, and it’s onions that need sweat.
A few years later, I found the woman who would be my wife. She lived about half an hour away from where I did, so while we were first dating we didn’t get to see each other every day. While we’d usually get to see each other two or three times a week, Sunday nights she would have a nice home-cooked meal with her family.
So how to go about seeing her on Sundays?
I could quickly learn to make seemingly gourmet meals and home-cook them at her home!
Yeah, I learned to cook so we could see each other more often. :)
There were a few good things about that. One, we got to see each other more often. Two, we got to eat some awesome things like traditional Hungarian goulash, beef roulades, stromboli, and meatloaf.
Yes. Meatloaf. It’s awesome.
If you think otherwise, perhaps you haven’t had good meatloaf. :)
Three, it let me get to know her family. They’re all really awesome people, and I’d like to think they feel that way about me. At the very least, they got to see first hand how happy I was making the woman who would become my wife.
And four… I learned to cook. I wasn’t building up from the basics. I had to do it fast, and make it fancy. So I jumped in headlong, watching things from Good Eats to random Youtube videos, and making some stuff up along the way. I did some things incorrectly, and probably still do, but as long as it’s delicious I’m okay with that.
But if you are a cook, and happen to read one of these entries and come across something I’m doing incorrectly, by all means, let me know! I enjoy cooking, but with anything like this there’s always room to grow. We should always strive to better ourselves every day.
If you don’t cook, but you like to eat, boy howdy are you missing out. Even if you’ve got someone that does your cooking for you, learning how to cook can help you grow closer to that person through a shared hobby, or even just helping them out with the chores from time to time. And if you can cook, who’s to say you can’t cook out of the ordinary things like Dave Lister’s favorite sandwich?
Back in April, I said, “I really enjoy making strange but delicious concoctions of bachelor-sized proportions.”
I’m not a bachelor anymore, but I’m not your average cook. With Questionable Gourmet, you’ll find recipes with step by step guides on how to make them, as well as some background on how and why the recipes came to be.
Come back next time, dear reader, for my take on a quick skillet venison recipe that’s sure to upset at least two different types of connoisseurs.