I actually do have 500+ cook books and dinner isn’t really an issue.
But reading a chefs blog piqued an interest in figuring out what exactly my goals may be…
I’m not a chef.. and have no illusions about my skill set. I couldn’t handle a full kitchen and staff.. don’t wanna.
I read cook books, how people do things fascinates me, the whole notion of culture and technique determining use of ingredients is a world of exploration..
Besides you can’t riff on a classic if you don’t know what a classic is..
Its fun to me, no ingredient or idea is safe, and I will plunder any culture to make my dinner… nothing I do is “normal” its all about lets do this for breakfast… which could well be and has been a Greek salad and steamed cod..no pancakes, no captain crunch, no eggs and bacon…. mostly because I don’t like pancakes or captain crunch and “bacon” ain’t what it used to be..
I do write stuff down (recipes) but its a medieval system that presupposes knowledge of proportions.. and is basically an ingredient list with no measurements…
“Bill you should open a restaurant”
UMMmm..NO..I’d lose my mind and NO you can’t have it your way.. NO I won’t do an all you can eat pancake breakfast.. just NO..
Which is a good way to go broke in a tough business..
At best maybe I’d aspire too a bistro type operation with four tables and a menu board.. and “NO you still can’t have it your way” policy.. if you want it your way go home…
All of which tells me I’d be doomed from the start…
Except.. I can bang out pizza like a mad thing and its killer.
Which is prolly my culinary niche..
OK realistically, it is my niche and I don’t get tired of it..
Baking is a close second….
My GF is a big advocate of us doing something together.. Shes a baker and second in command where she works at a bakery in New Zealand, shes also a chef and seems to think I put out “amazing” food..
She’s decided I’d enjoy charcuterie seminars and artisanal, European baking classes…in New Zealand, which is sort of like kyptonite to my non-compliant food tendencies… both require discipline and a fair amount of precision… besides I have a thing about bread and salt cured hams..
Not to mention the ever so obvious….
So OK, Besides all that, its interlocking skills, charcuterie=house produced pepperoni and since the ovens are up and running anyway, the slack time can go to baking real bread…
And I don’t have to deal with food hipsters and poseurs, who can’t tell chicken from turkey..
Long story short, cooking is like playing music.. Improvisation can be amazing and a joy to do, but you still need to know the scales and practice, practice, practice..
Keep it simple.. and do what you do for the sheer pleasure of it..