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Old 01-01-2008, 03:50 AM   #1
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In My Hands, Cookware is a Deadly Weapon...

I used to tell that to friends -- that my kitchen was registered with the FBI as a deadly weapon.

Years after I told one friend that, she was at my house and tasted my -- much improved -- fare. She was moved to exclaim, "You're going to have to call the FBI and tell them your kitchen is not a deadly weapon!"

I do hope she understood it was a joke. Barely. ;)

I could hardly boil water, so I signed up with the Natural Gourmet Cooking Institute for some classes. I started with "Knife Skills," figuring that if I approached this as a martial art, I might be able to do better. :D

Now I'm able to basically do survival skills, and I've worked out a system that's mega-nutricious, easy, fast, and I can cook once and eat many times. I've made my peace with the kitchen -- or at least an uneasy truce.

I figured if I come here, hang out, I might learn something. Miracles can happen.

(I'm incognito. Can't let the "cook-noscenti" know I'm here...)

.

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Old 01-01-2008, 04:45 AM   #2
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HI =o) and welcome to the forums !
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:52 AM   #3
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Welcome to
DC Dragonfly. Cooking skills are not required here...Just jump right in, and ask questions and meet some wonderful people...You will find a wealth of recipes and great ideas..We love to share.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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Old 01-01-2008, 12:52 PM   #5
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Thank you! (Status: Assistant Cook? Maybe I should start with 'Scullery Maid'. ;) )

(Phew! After my True Confession, I was afraid there would be the culinary equivalent of villagers chasing me through the town with torches and pitchforks!) :D

It's like a curse to be able to deeply appreciate exquisitely prepared food, but not be able to prepare anything edible -- so I've been taking simple steps to remedy that.

Nothing elaborate, but I've added little touches picked up from Joy of Cooking, and from some cooking classes I've been able to take recently. I haven't personally attempted the actual stuff we learned in the class, but I have benefitted from things like fresh nutmeg, Chinese five-spice, and (trumpet fanfare!) TURMERIC.

It's a wonderful ingredient in every Indian dish, and adds a subtle flavor that's wonderful. It also was recommended as something to put on cuts!

I had reason to try that out when I couldn't find the safety 'holder' for my mandoline slicer, but decided to use it anyway. I was being very careful, but -- cut my thumb, anyway. It was small but very deep, and wouldn't stop bleeding for hours. I finally remembered what it was from the class that would help, and tapped some turmeric onto a paper towel. (I'd cleaned it with alcohol already.) I rolled the cut in the turmeric, and it stopped bleeding in 90 seconds.

It also sealed up beautifully, evenly, and just looked as if I had a line in red ink. So I figured that if it's that healing and sealing on the outside, then it must do some similar things on the inside -- like maybe to the digestive tract, and even arteries? Whatever, it's no wonder that they consider it such a wonder in India!

I had never used it for anything before -- had only bought it because of the class. But now I'll never be without it.

So I may not be a master-chef, but when I'm in the kitchen I no longer feel like such a Stranger in a Strange Land. ;)

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Old 01-01-2008, 01:31 PM   #6
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Dragonfly, what you lack in cullinary wisdom can be learned. What you bring with you to this site can't. I loved reading your posts. You have wit and charisma, and a knack for not taking yourself to seriously. And yet, you want to learn, and to be a part of a community that lives, and loves to cook. You enjoy life and want to experience everything with passion. Welcom to DC.

Ask any question about cooking. There will be someone here that can help you.

I will give you an introductory gift, my very own, world famous, and loved by all, "World Famous Pancake Recipe" by Goodweed of the North

And though one would think by that title that I'm a puffed and stuffed shirt (hey, no comments about the belly) I'm really just a humble guy who stumbled onto a really good pancake recipe while experimenting a bit. So without further comment, here is that recipe.

Bob Flowers' World Famous Pancakes
Dry Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tsp. doubel acting baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 to 3 tbs. sugar or sweetener (I use Splenda)
Whisk together in a large bowl

Add Wet Ingredients:
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
3 tbs. cooking oil
stir with a wire whisk until everything is just combined. There should be small lumps in the batter. Over mixing will result in tough pancakes.

Place three heaping tablespoons of batter on a hot griddle over medium heat for each pancake. When the bubble start appearing on top, and popping, it's time to flip the pancakes. If you are a novice flipper, leave room on the pan so you don't end up fipping pancakes on top of each other. If you are an accomplished flipper, and can place those babies on the same spot you lifted them from, then you can tighten up the pattern.
Cook for an additional two minutes and remove to plates. Serve immediately with soft butter, and your favorite pancake topping. You can keep them warm in the oven, but they will compact a little and won't be quite as good. The texture will suffer. But when served fresh from the griddle, well, just try them. You will feel and taste what I'm talking about.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 01-01-2008, 02:00 PM   #7
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Thanks, Goodweed! I've copied it to my small, but growing, "Recipes" folder on my hard drive. I may even get brave enough to try it. ;)

Since I'm not as good with the actual culinary skills as yet (thanks for the encouraging words, btw!), I've kind of made a specialty of finding strange flavors to add to things -- like exotic colors in a Crayola box. ;)

Some of my faves:

Cardamom: great in bread-type things, so I will definitely try it in these pancakes!

Chinese 5-spice: use in anything in which you would use cinnamon. (Just from the standard spice companies at the grocery store, like McCormack, etc.) I've even added it to fruit cup, and it was wonderful! It has cinnamon in it, and other things, and it really adds magic! (Be careful though -- there's another kind of Chinese 5-spice that's not for dessert-type things, and that would taste awful in pancakes, )

Turmeric: Learned about this in an Indian cooking class. They use it in everything, and it adds a subtle flavor and yellow color. But the best part: health benefits. It works great on cuts (cleans, seals, and heals) and I believe similar claims are made for the digestive tract. It also seems to curb food allergies a bit, which I can definitely use.

fresh nutmeg: magic on bland white fish. (from Joy of Cooking) Brings out an amazing flavor. Good on hosts of other things, too. (Being ignorant, I just try it on everything,

Weird combination that makes for a fantastic fruit salad: I put in ... pretty much everything that was seasonally available. Berries, melons, banana. But I winged it on the seasoning, and it came out -- fabulous! ;)

I sweetened it with a bit of maple syrup, preserved and tarted it a bit with juices of lemon and lime, and then added my Chinese 5-spice. I was taking it to a family gathering of the guy I was dating then, and he was a bit nervous about my contribution (lest they think me an unworthy female?). So he volunteered for a non-cooking kind of contribution.

One of the in-laws there was a true German sausage-maker, and I had never believed I could love a wurst, but his were magic! He was a maestro of subtle seasonings, and he went crazy over my fruit cup!

The flavors drove him wild, and he kept begging me to write it down. Which of course, I couldn't, since I just free-handed it by taste. (I later sent them a bottle of the 5-spice) ;) Their daughter, the hostess, begged me to leave the fruit cup with her (we'd made a swimming-pool full, ) because her kids were inhaling it!

So as long as I'm not actually cooking, my track record is a little better. I've made seasoning a specialty -- I am part French, somewhere in there, and that should count for something. ;)
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