Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pickiness and minimalism

I've had an iPod with video capacity for well over a year. I had yet to use this function until maybe a week ago, when Jo showed me how podcasts work (oh the Humanities!). Soon after I inadvertently stumbled upon the most addictive videos ever, which are cutting into my usual subway activities of reading and open-eyed napping. The videos? Mark Bittman, aka The Minimalist. Each video podcast is a mini-cooking show just long enough that you see the dish from start to end, but short enough that if you are distracted by what Bittman's cooking, you won't miss more than a couple subway stops.

Inspired by watching Bittman cook dish after dish that in reality I know I'd never want to eat, but that looks so good when prepared in minimalist cooking-show glory (scallops in cream sauce and deviled eggs, in particular, are both items I'd immediately eliminate from a menu when deciding what to order, but Bittman convinces us that both are plate-lickin' fantastic), I decided to photograph my own latest culinary achievement. I'm not a bad cook, but as a photographer, I appear to be hopeless, so while it looks like somebody vomited on a salade niçoise...

... I promise that I prepared not one but two elegant and delicious light summer meals. (Jo confirms my assessment, both of the photo and of the reality behind it.)

But back to Bittman. As I've mentioned, of all the dishes I've watched him prepare (and it's getting to be a whole lot) I can't think of a single one I'm likely to make. This is because Bittman will cook everything, whereas I have an aversion to mayonnaise, cream sauce, whipped cream, sour cream, butter (except in pastry), and a wide range of foods (but especially, it seems, condiments) beyond those I've mentioned. I'm certain that when I eat out, I unknowingly eat and enjoy all the foods I find too disgusting to make at home. You will see that I wrote earlier in this post that I am not a bad cook. Well, is this possible for someone who's never outgrown aversions to so many common ingredients? I'm thinking not, which is why for me, the Bittman videos are educational, showing me that foods I like are made with foods I ostensibly wouldn't touch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, but do you eat escargot?