Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cooking (or not) at Home

I have a lot of kitchen crap.

By kitchen crap, I mean home kitchen supplies like an ice cream maker, espresso maker, two cake display pans, a spice grinder, steamer, mortar and pestle, TONS of extra offset spatulas and other tools like that, various food colorings and sprinkles…the list goes on and on. I have to come to realize this (I was probably in denial before) because I’m moving soon, and there’s nothing that makes you notice how much extra junk you have until you’ve got to move it.

But the thing about having all these cooking supplies is that, well – I rarely cook at home. I mostly live off of cereal, sandwiches, and fruit. Though some might be surprised by it, most people that actually cook for a living live off of crappy food when they’re not at work. This stockpile of stuff I have was accrued over the first couple years when I started working in the industry and had just begun culinary school. I had this wonderful na├»ve vision of myself, working hard all day in the kitchen, and then coming home to make wonderful meals for my boyfriend and I, to apply all that I had learned. I thought I would make everything – from bread to tarts and ice cream to cheese and dinners that would have a starch, protein, veg, and sauce.

I was assisted by my mother who, in all her sweetness, would show up at my apartment with another unneeded piece of equipment, and when seeing the look on my face would say, “I know you’ll need it one day!” Really. She even bought me not one but TWO full sets of Cuisinart cookware. Nobody I know needs 12 skillets and pots, least of all someone that lives alone.

I suppose there are still a few inspired souls out there that have the passion and drive enough to go home and cook – and when they do, they’ll be snatching whatever they need from work – garlic, lemons, maybe a bit of stock or prepared sauce, even flour. And there are of course the cooks and chefs out there that will cook a nice meal to get laid. But I, like most others, live off a very limited diet at home.