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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chef Kramerre'

It could be the previews of Julie and Julia. Or the fact I want my family to eat better. Or that I want to expand my horizons. But the truth is I'm just plain sick of eating out. Thus, my quest continues to improve my cooking skills.

So the other day I'm at the check-out line and a Rachel Ray magazine catches my attention. Supposedly there's a killer ribs recipe hiding in between the pages. Now I've never tried to make ribs, but I thought to myself, "why not?"

After thumbing through the pages of Rachel Ray (and let me tell you there's much more to Rachel Ray than cooking!), I find there are many cheeses, spices and flavored vinegars I've never heard of. This is where I start to get hung up. How can I cook if I don't even understand the ingredient list? But I'm not giving up yet. I've written down all of the ingredients for the ribs and the only things I can't find in the store are sweet-smoked paprika (so I buy paprika with the intent of sweet smoking it myself) and honey. I do know what honey is, but heck if I can find it. No worry. We have some bees flying around the house.

I'm thinking the key to cooking is patience. So, every experiment is a pretty darn good exercise for me. I realize that the skill won't be developed over night...take today for example.

...Alex and I decided to bring an Angel Food cake to our family reunion today. This particular recipe (a mix) instructs us to simply add water. No sweat. But something happens and the mix begins to run through the angel food cake pan (inherited from my grandmother). I still don't know what happened, but the mix was kindling a fire in the oven. Because of my quick thinking, I took the mix out and we immediately put the half-cooked batter into muffins tins. Apparently, not only do you need patience, but you need a little ingenuity!

So after putting the muffin tins back in the oven and waiting another twenty minutes, Alex notices that we have forgotten to turn the oven back on. Oh, well...what could that hurt? Again, another test of patience.

Finally, after tiring of the burning angel food cake smell, we retrieve our angel food cupcake experiment from the oven. They are, well, quite interesting. Maybe they will taste okay...

I take a bite. Certainly, it is the crunchiest angel food I've ever had. It really doesn't taste too bad. But rather than face another gathering of people politely look past my dish, I think we'll bring ice cream to the reunion...

I'll keep you posted on how the ribs turn out.

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