Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Cooking Skills....

Branton Junior Highschool: Scene of the Crime
It is true that I successfully managed to achieve an "F" in home-economics in grade 8.  Indeed, it was something of an accomplishment.  To the best of my knowledge, I was the very first girl to achieve such a landmark in the history of Branton Junior Highschool.  Even Nola Drinnan, my partner in crime, was only able to achieve a "D".  The result was, of course, that we were not allowed to take home-economics in grade 8, and instead were the first two girls able to integrate the (up until then) all male "industrial arts" class.  It wasn't much in the way of integration:  the guy teaching it did not think we could be trusted near machinery, so Nola and I instead spent the entire semester hanging out in the photography room, listening to Heart's album "Dreamboat Annie" on the cassette deck, and underdeveloping roll after roll of film.  It was a pretty sweet life.

However, one might make the argument that my culinary skills began at that time to lag a bit behind where one might expect them to be.  It is not that |I have no skills.  Indeed, I can say that I have mastered a few particularly sweet recipes: when it comes to caramels, and peppermints, I think i can hold my own against the rest.  However, my own little family would have less positive commentary when it comes to more traditional cuisine.  A bad habit of attempted improvisation on my part has left them with all the fodder they need to mock some of my attempts.  "Forever Coleslaw" (so named because it was last forever in the fridge as no one was willing to eat it), and "Rebecca Surprise" (which was supposed to be something like fish and chips, but ended up more like fish/potato puree... which not even the dog would touch) were two particularly painful failures.

Carrot Blueberry Salad
And so.... I am feeling the pride of having now mastered two 'real' (as in, not made primarily of butter, cream and sugar) dishes!  One is "Carrot & Blueberry Salad" (the recipe for which was posted as #7 on a NYTimes list of 101 salads).  Totally easy!   grated carrots, blueberries, sunflowerseeds and a dressing of lemon juice, oil and honey. 

Crockpot Chili
The other is "Crockpot chili", that even Alex is willing to eat! Perfect recipe from my point of view: both easy to make, and seemingly impossible to ruin!  (and my capacity to veer off centre to produce something less that ideal is exceptional!).  And the recipe?  Ground beef, green/red peppers, onions, garlic, chilipowder, ... and a can each of kidney beans, cannelini beans, mushrooms, corn, and tomato sauce.

Since I am now supposedly queen of the kitchen in this sabbatical house, I am happily on the lookout for other recipes that have that 'failsafe' capacity.  Anyone out there got any for me?  Particularly, things I could do in a crockpot in the morning, so I don't have to cook at the end of the day?


  1. I am closing down my computer, getting on a plane and coming to taste some of the chili. I wish everyone could be so lucky as to look forward to your new cooking skills and seeing London with you.


  2. Pulled pork: all you need is pork shoulder blade, sliced onion, half a cup of water and a jar of bbq sauce. Pork, onion and water go in first for 4 hours on low. After 4 hours remove most of the juices except for 1 inch on the bottom. Separate the meat with a fork. Pour in bbq sauce and cook for 2 more hours. I use to make about 1.5 kgs of pork for all of us.

    Fauxtisserie Chicken. Whole chicken and seasoning salts. Make 3 balls of aluminum foil and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker. These hold the chicken off the bottom so the hot air can circulate all around the chicken and so it’s not stewing in its own juices.Rub salt-based seasoning VERY liberally onto the skin of the chicken. Place chicken breast-up on the foil in the slow cooker, cover, turn heat to low, and leave it alone for 7-8 hours.

    Check out this website is really good for recipes

    Miss you all. I'm glad you are having a great time.

  3. Yea! thanks for the pulled pork recipe... we LOVED that stuff and were just talking about it the other day! we miss you.... badly!


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