Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cooking with the Vosses

So, I've been a really busy bee this weekend, what with all the jewelry order fulfilling, family time spending, laundry washing and folding and putting away-ing, etc. etc. In the midst of all of this crazy-time, I managed to cook (yes cook!) a great meal yesterday: buffalo chicken salad, which we ended up eating for lunch and dinner. For some reason, I always feel like cooking one nice meal like that should get me off of the hook for cooking subsequent meals for at least a week, but it's not so. I'm not complaining about my husband (yet), he actually does a lot of the cooking and he does it quite well, and I also like to cook ok, it's just that it gets in the way of other stuff that I am doing that I do better. And for some reason, I get really frustrated with lots of things cooking-related. Anyway, after working away on a wedding order all day today and filling a bunch of other orders, the last thing I felt like doing was cooking a whole 'nother meal, but apparently my family expects to eat several times daily. So, I went to the kitchen and started cheffing it up (which almost turned into effing it up since I toasted the almonds until they were blackened dust...oops.) And here is where my frustration starts: my husband comes in (ever the nosy backseat chef) and, after waving the broom wildly under the smoke detector to shut it up after the almond tragedy, he starts micromanaging my cooking ordeal. Seriously, this gets on my nerves like none other. First of all, he thinks that any and all foods/spices/condiments, etc. that are even remotely similar (or start with the same letter, or rhyme, or he's seen near each other in the grocery store...) can be used as substitutes for each other. This is maddening. I mean, I'm no gourmet chef, but I know that butter can't be substituted for cheese just b/c they are both dairy products. So, he starts going through the pantry and offering me all kinds of unsolicited advice, which is a huge pet peeve of mine anyway. He hands me pine nuts and says "here use these." No, dear, I can't use those. "Well, here use these peanuts." OMG! Freaking PEANUTS are not a good substitute for TOASTED ALMONDS!!!!! This was almost as bad as the other night when he wanted me to fry up some french fries in butter b/c we didn't have oil or solid shortening. I'm not kidding people, these are the cooking ideas that he has. And he stands by them. Staunchly.

Almost as much as that drives me crazy are the sooooo helpful substitutions offered in cook books and online: a few weeks ago I went to make drunken apples, which is a favorite dish of mine. Despite the name, I wasn't thinking that this would require me to have some liquor on-hand, but it did, and our sober selves didn't have any. Neither did our neighbors (I discovered this after dragging myself next door in my pajamas at 4 in the afternoon, banging on their door and asking feverishly "do you have any rum? I reeeeeaaaaally need some," since I was in a big ol' hurry b/c I had planned poorly and the apples were already all a'boil.) I'm pretty sure they called CPS on me, but they didn't have any rum. Of course my next step is to Google "substitutions for rum" and do you know what the first several results suggested?! *Rum extract!* Wow, who would've thought that you can use the extract of the VERY SAME ingredient you are missing instead of that ingredient itself?! Genius! I NEVER would have thought of that myself! I wanted to spit at someone. I mean, seriously, if I had rum extract I would either also have rum or would've figured out to use the damn extract. I have run into this problem several times when cooking or baking: I'm look for a substitute for dried thyme and fresh thyme is suggested (really?!) or I look for a replacement for some basic pantry staple and am offered, as a substitution, a complex recipe with multiple obscure ingredients. If I don't have a basic pantry item like baking powder then the chances are pretty good that I don't have *both* cream of tartar and baking soda. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. And, I really do enjoy the back of one of my cookbooks which titles their "ingredients in a pinch" list as "Emergency Substitutions." Really? I mean, are we calling these emergencies now? Because I was kind of thinking the real emergency in a kitchen is catching fire to your hair or slicing off a finger with your Ginsu, but apparently also not having any molasses on hand ranks right up there, who knew?

Ahhhhh, the joy of cooking...


  1. Okay, snorted tea out my nose.

    Question, what did you think 'Drunken Apples' was made with? OMG - I'm going to bed now and I'm sure my giggling will wake Tom up and he'll be annoyed that I'm still sick and staying up late!


  2. But, what sides did you have?

  3. OMG! You. Are. SO. Funny! So was it yummy anyway? You need to get a lock for the kitchen door or a chain to tie up your hubby when you're cooking. ;-)

  4. Yeah, she's really funny!


  5. Oh my - you really do write fabulously, you should write for magazines!!
    nic x

  6. Thanks guys! Nic-that's my dream (magazines or TV shows...actually, who am I kidding, I'd write for anyone/anything!)