Thursday, November 6, 2008

Food, glorious, food

Last night, the Husband's company had a little dinner party at the Kitchen Conservatory. We've done this with his firm before, and it was really a lot of fun.

The concept is this: You show up as a group, and with the guidance of two executive chefs from local restaurants, learn to cook your own gourmet meal. Then, once your gourmet meal is complete, you sit down together and eat the delicious food prepared by your own hands.

As I have demonstrated in the past, I lack somewhat in the cooking area. Not the baking area. I rock the baking area like nobody's business. But the cooking area? Not so much.

So, I made it my mission last night to extract every ounce of cooking knowledge I could from our chef. I followed him around like a puppy, observing everything he did. To his credit, he was very patient with my seemingly endless list of questions, and I learned a great deal. Like, did you know that you can make your own ravioli from scratch?

I know. I always thought it just came in a frozen package from the store.

Last night, as I was devouring our butternut squash/mushroom/duck ravioli, I saw the call for greater things from my kitchen.

And, as I am always so kind and thoughtful, I thought I'd teach you some of the basics I learned last night. Because if one has to start somewhere, it should always be at the beginning.

Like, for example, this is not food:
And this IS food:
Once again, not food:
Food:

I know, right?

This one may offend several mothers out there, but this is definitely NOT food:


And this scary looking creature IS food:And finally, not a family meal:

['What?' says my inner Stie, her voice incredulous. I know, I know. But it's true. I think there is actually very little food in anything on that menu.]

Instead, I want to opt for one like this, prepared lovingly by hand from fresh ingredients, topped off with a prayer of thanks for the bounty before me:
If only.

Oh, yeah, and one thing I forgot. My chef did admit that everything in a restaurant tastes so good because it is really chock full of this:


Any questions?

31 comments:

Holly said...

Girl, don't go dissing my Velveeta. How else do I make queso in my crockpot? I guess there was no Cream of Mushroom soup in that *real* kitchen either?

I can't handle it.

But. Still. Glad you learned something and made *real* food.

Lindsey said...

Oh yes, yes indeedy. Thank you for validating my obsession(compulsion) for cooking. I felt like maybe I went overboard when my daughters friend said that Top Ramen was the thing she enjoyed the most that her mom made for dinner.. (WHAT? UN-HEARD OF!) I started to think maybe my meals were too over-the-top? (See, I still don't know) When you are ready to venture out, I have a link to me and my sister's favorite recipes (soooooooooooo delish) on my side bar. Get inspired.

Lindsey said...

Ohh.. start with the Turkey Chile. Looks intensive (it is not, if you have a chopper)but your family will thank you!

Lindsey said...

Ohh.. start with the Turkey Chile. Looks intensive (it is not, if you have a chopper)but your family will thank you!

Lindsey said...

That would be CHILI, not CHILE.. sheesh.

brooke said...

McDonald's not food? Then we haven't been eating dinner for the last 2 nights! Great post--The chef must not have small children--who has time to make real food?

Terra said...

Love this post, smiled, laughed...I too stink in the "cooking" world but can bake and make other sweet things like no-body's business. I try to do better in the kitchen and fail...not my calling so I try to make up for it with cookies, fudge, grandmas peanut butter candies etc! Again loved this post!!!

Jenibelle said...

I love to cook and I do a fabulous Chicken Enchilada soup that has Velveeta in it. Don't be knocking my faux cheese!!!

That sounds like SO MUCH FUN, I would love it. I am signed up to take a bread class at the Culinary School in SF. Can't wait til February!!!

Did you like the duck? I'm not a fan.

Cindy said...

I could use a few lessons in the cooking area as well. It sounds like you had a lot of fun!

3leftturns said...

I have a question...

Do you REALLY have that much time to hunt down all those photos for your blog, or do you have an assistant that does it for you?

While you're at it, could you work on getting gas prices down and Sarah Palin elected in 2012?

Thanks,

Melissa Walker said...

I love to cook too, but when I do and lay it out all pretty on the table I get the looks from the kids and the husband. My son says, "I hate this!" and my daughter says, "What is it? Do I like it?" Obviously, they still have a hard time identifying real food. (And being pregnant, I've caved in and serve whatever the kids want for dinner)

Woman Interrupted said...

Now don't go gettin' all uppidy. Round here, Velveta-Rotel dip is practically a food group by itself.

Annemarie said...

I would be in heaven there. Heaven.

Butter ROCKS.

Lindsey said...

Such devoted Velveeta followers! (I have never even tried it! I don't know what I am missing, obvisously) Ok, I went to my family food site, and noticed that the only way you can find the turkey chili is to go to Savor Soups (on the side bar) and click on Stein Erickson's Turkey Chili. It actually takes you back to my regular blog, which is where I posted recipes before I made my recipe blog. SORRY!

Kenny and Linsey said...

I must agree with Annemarie, butter does indeed rock and is worth the added expense for added flavor.

Sounds like so much fun for the cooking and non-cooking alike.

Holly said...

Love it! I have a food blog for a reason. Velveeta and margarine never enter my kitchen. And, I refuse to cook with anything other than butter. Occasionally shortening, but never, ever margarine. Ick.

calibosmom said...

Cheese good. Butter good. I LOVE FOOD!!!

Bonnie said...

Hi Christie, I'm new to your blog. My friend Terra introduced me to it. I always look forward to reading your posts.. always funny and very relatable to us other struggling moms out there! I too want to do better in the kitchen... it's an endless battle, nice to know I'm not alone.

TravelinOma said...

I agree about butter. The more you use, the better the dish. My dad used to dip lettuce in melted butter. My brother and I used to fight over who got to lick the "butter paper" (wrapper.) And Dee's brined bird, stuffed with a cube of butter, is "butter than ever." (This is why I could be called a Butterball.)

Susy said...

As I devour my chicken mcnugget (no lie) I do enjoy real food,hence I am a wee bit past the need to loose 20 pounds mark. I will post a wonderful eazzzzzzzzzzzy Steak Dianne for all to enjoy if you visit my blog tomorrow. Especially you Miss not good in the cooking department. BTW Ms. Stie do you have a killer recipe for moist oatmeal applesauce cookie? Just asking!

Trissha Gaisford Siler said...

So fun to read up on your blog!! Your kids are so beautiful and your blog is awesome. One of these days I may start one. I was proud to just be on facebook now. There is no time in the day. But maybe when all the kids in school and after they release me from my calling of RS Pres. When I am finally ready to do a blog I may have to make some copywrite infringements on yours. I am so impressed. You are amazing. It has been so fun to touch base again.

AMY said...

Hmmm. Apparently I went to the same "Feeding the Family with Fake Food" seminar that you did. Poor family. I, too, desire the home cooked, prayer enhanced meals of yesteryear. If I add a stick of butter to the McNuggets, does it count?

Hazen5 said...

Your night sounded like so much fun! But, food always tastes better to me when someone else makes it!

diane said...

I am cooking impaired. I am good at heating frozen stuff.

Lauren in GA said...

Wha? Velveeta is not a food? That explains a lot. Thank you so, so, much, Stie.

Phew! I adore butter...hmmmm?...that explains a lot, too.

Becky said...

Whew,...at least you kept the butter! But, amen to chucking the velveeta. Good riddance!

Fun idea for a work party, but I get a little squeemish around unknown meats, such as game-y things and duck and such.

And, baking? "Yes we can." Cooking? "We need a change."

Rosie said...

We would make good bedfellows, or next door neighbors. I love to cook, but baking is a challenge. Oh, I can follow a recipe okay, and things are usually edible, but not great. If I ever hand you a piece of cake, and it tastes good, and I tell you I made it from scratch: I'm lying through my teeth.

Joy & Casey said...

I have to argue here...both chicken nuggets and ketchup are definitely food!!! :) No chef here, Christie! haha

andrea said...

welcome to my world, my friend. gruyere vs velveeta... no contest.

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

Just one...what time's dinner? :-)

Ilene said...

I love butter. Butter loves me (specifically my waist, butt, and hips).

It's a healthy relationship, really.