Monday, April 2, 2012

Reality TV: what is cooking really like, these days?

I'm still learning to cook with the  foods I have available, and I'm not a natural, which means I don't instinctively understand how to cook something or what flavors will blend well. So when I am trying to create a recipe, or trying to tweak an existing one? The end is not always a pretty sight. I'd say it works out about as often as it fails spectacularly.

But right now, with my extreme food limitations, ruining my food isn't a minor, if frustrating, experience. It hurts to screw up on a recipe these days, because the loss has a lot more of an impact.

A few years ago, when I would make a dish and it was ruined, I could go to the store the next day and get some more. We weren't in severe financial straits, so it was annoying and I had wasted a little money, but it wasn't a big deal.

When I make a dish now and it's ruined, there's a good chance it was one of the last 5 items I have until they are in season again, 8 months from now. That well and truly bites. It's a loss that's hard to understand unless you've been in that position.

Seriously, think about it. Go pick up, say, a potato from your cupboard. What would you do with that potato if it was the last potato you got to eat for over half a year?  What's your favorite potato recipe that you'd really like to finish off the potato season with?

And how motivated are you to try a NEW recipe with this one, last potato? Because how badly would you feel if this was the last one and the recipe didn't turn out and you're left with a crummy batch of blech to eat instead of the yummy potato dish you were hoping for?

And how to do you feel when this issue applies to every, single food you have

That's where I feel like I'm at with this very limited diet and trying new recipes. I want new tastes, better tastes, good food. But at the same time, every new recipe feels like I'm courting this potential loss that some days, I just don't feel like courting. I want to wallow in the familiarity of a recipe that I know works for me, even if I've had it every day for the last week.

I just need to remember that some days, I might like the new dish just as much, and periodically it is definitely worth the risk to get the potential reward.

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