Blogging on the run: New York Times and ICE

I’ll be blunt: I have no time to blog this week. Hell, forget this week: I have no time to be writing this. Nevertheless, I’m addicted and need a fix. So please forgive this post’s brevity and scattered-ness. Truly, it’s a miracle I’m here at all.

The NY TimesDining section has a fun article today: what is your recipe deal-breaker? Meaning, what is the one (two…or three) thing you read in a recipe and say, “Nope. Not making this.” The article quotes someone as saying that if a recipe calls for removing your watch and all rings, they won’t make the recipe. One of my favorites was “butterfly 12 4-inch fresh anchovies” – yeah, I wouldn’t make that either. Or “Yield: 18 servings.” The article discusses the practical “deal breakers” as well as the much less rational.

So what are your deal breakers? What will it take for you to completely write off a recipe? Here are a couple of mine:

- Anything that requires an oven hotter than 425 degrees. My tiny NYC kitchen has zero air circulation and I turn into a raving bitch around that amount of heat. In the summer, I don’t go over 375 degrees.

- Anything that requires cheesecloth. This is a completely irrational one. I never have it on hand and I’m never motivated enough to buy it. There are too many other awesome recipes out there that don’t require cheesecloth. Same goes with recipes that require twine.

- Homemade pizza crust. I’ve tried it before and have failed every time. Life’s too short, especially since I have naan now. I’ve chronicled all this here and here.

- Anything requiring yeast. Too fussy. Too complicated. Too close to baking.

- Any recipe that takes multiple days. Not like, “this can be made 2 days in advance.” No, I’m talking those multiple step, week-long recipes. It’s not that I won’t ever try them…I will. But it’ll be when I retire 20 years from now.

And that just scratches the surface. Feel free to share your own deal breakers and anticipate the moment when I get around to blogging about my new favorite wine, Chinon, and my Sharpen Your Senses class at ICE last night*. ICE is quickly becoming my home-away-from-home and I’m loving it.

Eat, drink, and know what you will or won't do in the kitchen

* Don't know when children's books will make an appearance - I'm immersed in Sense and Sensibility right now.


Anonymous said...

I am working on establishing a list of reliable 30 minute dishes for nights with the preschooler, and I am feeling this post. I don't want to hear about anything that requires a waterbath, indirect heat, big amounts of oil for deep frying (such a nightmare to clean), or anything that involves a food processor unless I'm cooking for someone who really, really deserves it. I am all about the fast meal.

Anonymous said...

i'm embarrassed to admit, but a recipe that requires me to separate eggs is out of the question.

And springform pans.

Unknown said...

Anon, I am SO with you on the springform pans. I own one, actually, and it just sits and sits. But separating eggs? Really? There are so many recipes that call for that!

Amy, I agree on the deep fryer. Back when I lived in the suburbs (aka Land of Beautiful Kitchens) I had my own fryer and it was bliss. But no more. You've seen my kitchen - there is no way I'm doing that kind of messy, hot work in that tiny kitchen.

The chef in my How to Cook class actually mentioned this article in class today and the whole class let loose on what they would and wouldn't do in the kitchen. That's what I love about food and cooking - it's so personal, so emotional.