Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Honest to Goodness Cooks and Fakers

I read this post, about killer tater tot casserole, by Paula Deene via Boomama, and she mentioned that she didn't know what browning sauce was, so she left it out.

It's not at all unusual for me to read a recipe and have no clue what an ingredient is, or a technique, and just running across either of them usually tells me to steer clear because I'm out of my league. Best to stick with chili dogs, or tuna casserole, or crockpot pot roast where I recognize the ingredients and can handle 'open can' or 'boil weiners'. Actually making a prime rib, or anything with phyllo dough, or something where I have to check the freshness of fish eyes, well it's just never gonna happen in my kitchen.

I can cook - I do cook, evidenced by the fact that my family didn't starve to death yet. I even like to cook, I just don't C.O.O.K. like Boomama does. If I have to ask at the grocery what something is or where it is, it's not for me. Chili dog sauce and weiners are pretty easy to find, as are cans of tunafish. They're close to the jars of Ragu and instant mashed potatoes if I remember right.

So it truly shocked me to know something about cooking that Boomama didn't. For a few minutes I got all hotty totty and was impressed with little ole me, til I was slapped right between the eyes with the why.

My homemade gravy is lousy enough that it needs this ingredient to turn it a color that is palatable enough folks will eat it, versus that murky tan color I come up with when I attempt to make homemade gravy once or twice a year.

Obviously the only reason Boomama doesn't know what it is - she can C.O.O.K. circles around me. I like it when God does that, humbles me right back, safe and sound, into the little corner where I belong, that corner full of people who buy those jars of gravy at Thanksgiving and Christmas, hide it at the back of the pantry shelf, and sneak it out while they're 'cooking', so nobody will know the truth.

Faker, that's me. Woman in aisle 9 with the 'browning sauce' hidden at the bottom of her cart. Here I am. I swear if I'd gone Baptist about 40 years ago I might not have such a sad cooking story.

When I die and go to heaven, if we eat then I'm all about signing up to eat at Sophie's place, and she's totally going to be cooking there - the way she talks about cooking, it's clearly a spiritual gift of hers. No more chili dogs or tuna casserole for me once I make it past the pearly gates. I'm standing in line, even waiting for her if she didn't beat me there, for at least one dish of anything she makes that has bacon as an ingredient or frying as the technique.


Gretchen said...

Oh, yes...when we go to heaven, Sophie will be cooking. Period.
I love bacon and cheese and their rightful place in her cooking repetoire.

I had never heard of browning sauce either.

And we do gravy packets of goodness here. That and Stove Top. I've tried different things over the years, but those are what we're used to and what we like. What's not to lurve about salt and fat? At least on Turkey Day?

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Hey, I'm an honest to goodness REAL cook, (and a Baptist to boot!) and I use Kitchen Bouquet when I can remember to buy it. I use it in my beef roast gravy, beef and gravy and in my veggie beef soup among other things.

But I agree, I want to be in Sophie's chow line when we get to Heaven. ;o)



Barb said...

I haven't bought a bottle of that in years. I sure used to though. Somehow, I accidentally learned how to make gravy from scratch - I strongly suspect my mother-in-law had a lot to do with that (great, great cook).

I've always sensed that Sophie is just a down to earth, southern cook and I'll bet she learned a lot of it from the older women in her life. That's where most good cooks come from I think, which makes it some kind of miracle that both my daughters are becoming pretty good cooks. They didn't learn it from me when they were growing up but they are now because they're suddenly asking me a million questions every time they try a new dish.

Sohpie has yet to post a single recipe, or even talk about something she made, that hasn't made me hungry. And thanks to her, I now make the best blackeyed peas in the world because she shares her recipes. She's nice like that. :-)

Dawn said...

I love this. I USED to cook a lot, but have gotten really lazy. I have never bought that product, but I'm with you on using a recipe where there is something I have to hunt for or buy special.

I just wanted to stop by and thank you for your promise to pray for Kristen. This is HUGE!

Linda said...

Oh Bev, I do love you!! I read all these amazing posts about cooking and feel like such a loser! I, like you, cook - but I'm not a COOK.
If I ever won the lottery (highly unlikely since I never buy a ticket), the one thing I'd treat myself to is a chef. I'm perfectly willing to do all the clean-up. I just don't want to cook.

cheryl said...

In Heaven bacon will have no calories, sodium content or nitrates either - wont that be... heaven?!