Rebecca's Cooking Journal

salt and pepper

Archive for December, 2008

Flashback: Making Rice (For the First Time) and Avoiding Disaster

During my first semester in college, I decided to cook a pot of rice for dinner. I knew making rice required boiling rice on the stove with some water and waiting a while. But I’d never actually made it before.

Surely my clever 18-year-old self could figure it out! Isn’t rice the definitive easy recipe? I threw some rice into a pot with a two cups of water and turned on the heat.

The result: A burned sticky mess on the bottom of the pot. My mom bought me a food pass at the dorm cafeteria because she worried I’d never eat. (She was probably right.)

Lesson learned: If you’ve never made something before, look at a recipe or some instructions, even if you think you know how to make it. And watch the pot!

Yesterday, I had another chance to try cooking something else new: hard boiled eggs. I wanted to avoid the inedible disasters previously called hard boiled eggs.

Confession: I am 27 years old, and I had never successfully hard boiled eggs.

After a quick reference to Google, I found some great information at OChef.

I followed Julia Child: cool water, eggs covered, bring to a boil, then take it off the heat and let it sit for 17 minutes; when timer rings, set in ice bath. (I didn’t prick the egg first, but it was still ok.) The eggs were perfectly cooked! No nasty green around the yolks.

Where were all the hard boiled eggs while I was starving in college? This was very simple food to make and it made my Chinese chicken noodle salad very tasty.

I cooked another egg for my son’s meal today and he loved it, begging for more.

How do you make hard boiled eggs?

Note: This may give you a feeling for the level of cooking you may expect from this site. I hope to share my cooking mistakes and discoveries so we can learn together!

What’s one of your memorable cooking disasters?

Why Cook?

I never liked cooking. In fact, I never liked to eat. And then my husband introduced me to the power of salt, among other things. Now I realize that the end result (good-tasting food) makes the endless opportunities of cooking fun.

As a stay-at-home mom, I’m realizing that cooking can be one way that I can serve my family, every day. And it can taste good, everyday! Just because we’re living on a budget and I have limited time does not mean that I have to sacrifice the delights that come from tasty food.

So why do I cook? First, I cook because I’m hungry. I have to eat. My son has to eat. My husband has to eat (although I realize he’s pretty competent in the kitchen himself!). But I also cook because it’s a challenge waiting to be solved. And the solution is edible (usually).

This site will be a low-key way to share some of my thoughts and experiences about cooking, as well as a way to share recipes I may discover or create.

I hope to post something three or four times a month. I have written a few posts to get started, so this week (and probably for the coming month) I’ll share more frequently.