Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lessons Learned in My Kitchen

The past couple of weeks in my kitchen have been checkered with successes and failures.  Some people think that "failure" may be a harsh criticism to throw out there.  But, I'd be sugar coating the reality if I tried to downplay some of my poor results... and sugar isn't primal/paleo.  While almost nothing I made was worth posting on Primal Texas, I suppose these lost endeavors cannot be labeled total failures.  For one thing, nothing that was prepared had to be wasted.  It may have tasted kind of "meh", but my wife put on a smile that even I (almost) believed and told me it wasn't as bad as I thought.  And, there were lessons learned in every instance.

Lesson 1: There is such a thing as too much dry rub.

Lesson 2: You cannot substitute any old vinegar you have on hand for the apple cider vinegar in Mark's recipe for mayonnaise.  [The link is actually to a different mayo recipe of Mark's.  I tried to make the recipe from page 224 of The Primal Blueprint Cookbook.]

Lesson 3: When making two batches of something (simultaneously and in separate ovens), do not set a timer for the first batch and think to yourself, "Remember to take out the second batch five minutes after the first one."  You won't remember... until you smell it.  Set a timer for the second batch, too.

Lesson 4: When letting something simmer and cook down on your stovetop for a couple of hours, check the setting before you walk away. 

Lesson 5: While the previously mentioned dish is simmering,  don't get distracted by whatever football game is on TV... stir it now and then.

Lesson 6: Don't try to crush/sprinkle artisan sea salts between your thumb and finger.  It hurts.  Not immediately.  But a couple of minutes later, you realize that you have the equivalent of a dozen or so deep paper cuts on the pad of a single finger.  Cuts made by salt.  Yes. Coarse grain artisan salt is sharp.

Lesson 7: As long as you still have bacon grease in supply... it's not all bad.

Within the past year, bacon grease has vaulted up the list of my favorite cooking fat choices.  The rankings get shaken up a little on a week by week basis.  But, bacon grease splits time at #1 on the leaderboard with butter and coconut oil.

When staring at the contents of my fridge the other day, I was struck by what I was sure was not an original idea... but one I had never heard of before.  After discussing the resulting dish with a few other folks, I learned it definitely wasn't an original idea... but one that would make Paula Deen proud.  Only, Paula would serve it with some sort of battered and fried meat and hot rolls or cornbread.  I opted for a couple of eggs.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen.  That's shredded cabbage cooked in bacon grease.

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