Saturday, February 19, 2011

No One's in the Kitchen with Cranky

As recently as five years ago or so, I got twitchy if Cranky wanted to cook the food. He likes the kitchen and he has good ideas, but he had a bad habit of overdoing this ingredient or that, just because "there was still some left" or "I thought it would be better if there was more."
I couldn't get him to stop dumping the kitchen sink into the soup kettle, because he believed his behavior was beneficial. Using up the rest of the mustard, because the jar was almost empty at that point, so why not? Dumping in the entire sausage instead of "just right," because he likes sausage, so... why not?
This resulted in imbalances. We still talk about the over-garlicked vegetable pie. Gah! A family joke now... And yet he continued to overdump.
He's uncertain about his ability to judge flavors, and we both modestly acknowledge that I'm pretty good at it.
But the guy deserves kitchen time, and I shouldn't be such a suspicious, controlling spectre.
And so he began cooking ambitiously (without recipes) and I tried not to fret. He really got the hang of it!
He still discusses his ingredients with me and asks for advice. Usually, he'll have me come and taste something and do some fine tuning.
But he is suddenly (gradually?) a rockin' home cook!
Yesterday he dared to make soup. I MAKE THE SOUP AROUND HERE. But he made the soup.
Fresh chicken stock, scads of spring onions and one small leek, a load of white button mushrooms. Really nice! I had no complaints at all, but suggested he add a glug of red wine when he was finishing the soup with a dollop of cream.
He sneaked in a little sherry, too.
So good. And it didn't taste like my own cooking. It tasted like his.


Zoomie said...

If Cranky's gonna be cooking for your blog, he needs to write down the "recipes" so we know what he did. Looks great! Hurray for a manly chef!

Kevin said...

Cranky sounds exactly like my father - except my father hasn't gotten better.

Chilebrown said...

I would be scared to cook in your kitchen. I guess now I understand when Ms. Goofy say's I backseat cook.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Ha ha. It's not a recipe blog!

Kevin: You mean he "over-puts"? While Cranky was learning to tone it down, he'd sometimes ask me how much of this or that to use. "You'll know," was the answer.

Chilebrown: Nah! The Bearded One has cooked in my kitchen, and he didn't knife me. It'd be fun, four of us making a mess. (I stayed away from Cranky until he was ready to talk to me about his soup. I'm nice.)

namastenancy said...

I think that "Cooking with Cranky" has a nice ring to it. Or you would title it , "Adventures with Cranky - how I became a cook and learned to like it?"

Anyway, great post as always.

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: Cranky would never write a food blog. I'm sure he thinks we're all soft in the head. :)

Zoomie said...

I know it's not a recipe blog, but you give enough hints that we can follow along. You've gotta look over his shoulder and help us out here.

SimplyStated said...

Cranky rocks! That looks and sounds delicious and I will be definitely giving it a shot. And I just saw your question from the other post... Penn.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

I don't know why, but that header has gone and given me an Ian Dury & the Blockheads ear worm!

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Chicken stock. Alliums. Mushrooms. Oil & butter. Wine & sherry. Cream. Salt, pep. I think the beauty of his creation was in making a mushroom soup that was so oniony. I wouldn't have done it that way, but I'm lucky I got to eat it. :)

Simply: Doesn't it sound nice? I'm tickled you'll be trying it. And... My husband's dad knew Joe Paterno. xo

Mouse: Hmm. You'll have to hit me with your rhythm stick, because I can't guess the song.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post!

I have to say that more often than not, when we eat in restaurants, I leave with the impression that every single cook lost touch with the amount of garlic added in their dishes. Sometimes it's all we can taste....

enjoy your personal chef, hope he gets better and better each week!

cookiecrumb said...

BK: We've always cooked together. Some nights he feeds me by himself, and other nights I take care of him. But this latest phase is SO nice. Ambitious and not stupid.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Always in the Kitchen at Parties!

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: Hoowee! Good. I don't know that one. (I'm always in the K. at P. too.)