Two Things I’ll Never Do Again.
I feel like you really learn a lot from cooking. Not just about how to prepare food, but things about yourself. Your limits? Sometimes. Skills you never knew you had? Definitely. Skills you thought you had, but then it turns out you don’t have them? Holy-sushi-rolling-cow, yes (it looks so easy! it isn’t!). Anyway, sometimes recipes teach me things that are like…facepalm, duh. How did I not figure this out before? For example:
Storebought pita crisps are hella expensive. I pretty much never buy them, but I always want to. They’re so perfect for scooping up hummus! Those two things were meant to be together! But I seriously do not want to spend $4 on a not that big bag of crisps. So when I made that lentils and rice with caramelized onions recipe from Veganomicon, and it showed me how to make my own pita chips, at first I was like, ‘Ugh! Another step! I hate recipes with a million steps!’, but then I bucked up and was more like, ‘This recipe is stupid easy, so I should probably not be stupid and go ahead and make those crisps.’ And I’m glad I did, because a) I will never buy pita crisps again, and b) I finally found a good use for those stupid, crumbly pita pockets I buy that are invariably stale every time I buy them (why do I keep buying them?). Plus, it turned out that the pita crisps were the best part of that recipe, and added a lot of flavor. (You’ll not see a photo of the finished product here because it is a darned ugly dish…and honestly it needs some work, as it is rather bland, despite being easy as pie to make [pie is not easy to make…easy as cookies?].) Anyway, yeah. Pita crisps. Make your own.
From the same recipe, I learned that I will never caramelize onions in the oven again! They cook ultra unevenly, and they burn a little bit, while still seeming raw! How is that possible? I don’t know, but seriously, just caramelize your onions on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet like an adult. Don’t try to tell me it’s easier in the oven, because what is the point of it being easy when it doesn’t taste nearly as good? Oh, and it takes around the same amount of time, there’s just more stirring on the stovetop. Whatever! Like I said, this recipe is generally really easy (cook rice and lentils together! the end!), so go the extra mile and caramelize your onions the right way (my way).
What have you learned from piddling around in your kitchen?