Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And Your Time Starts Now!

"What did I do with that recipe card? Or was it in a magazine? Or is it one of those recipes that I am testing this weekend?” I cannot imagine remembering all the things I need to have at hand in order to make a dish, much less knowing how I am supposed to be cooking it. It seems it is always a contest in my kitchen. As a cook with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder all kinds of challenges pop up, and usually in quick succession. Using the terminology of Top Chef, There’s usually not much hope for immunity and it’s almost always a Quickfire round.

My family was full of really good cooks. I never thought it one bit strange that my Mom and I both loved to read cookbooks as if they were beach novels. My pantry has two completely stuffed shelves overflowing with cookbooks. I’ve scratched notes on the margins of pages. Folders overflow with pages ripped from magazines. What I do with them is always a kitchen adventure. Results are almost never guaranteed, and general mayhem is just another kitchen procedure in my book. This mayhem consists of my scrambling for ingredients, the timer, the proper utensils or whichever ones I can find all while trying to get the oven turned on to preheat. And where did I put that recipe?

You would never guess that someone like me tests recipes for widely read blogs and cookbook authors. I bet that in your mind’s eye a recipe tester is working in a very organized and controlled environment with all the right tools and machines. Ha!  I am very lucky that I am a member of large and varied tester pools. One of the groups consists of professional chefs, instructors, advanced cooks and a few (I hope I am not the only one!) happy cooks who really have no clue.  Well, maybe a clue or two.

I certainly have few great accomplishments under my belt when it comes to cuisine. But I’ve fed children, pets, a husband, extended family, and those brave souls who still venture over here for dinner. They do seem to be weathering the storm rather well, despite being fed by a raging ADD cook.  The calm that my guests see in the dining room and kitchen belies the frantic activity and energy that are its prelude. They know that  there is a method in all this kitchen madness. I have found a way to bring about good results that usually involve an end run or two. The ends justifies the means in most cases and it is the “means” that we will be studying. This is what defines The Distracted Cook. The “means” is my way of thinking about and executing any job that involves the kitchen and food. I have taught myself many compensatory skills that are the bedrock for The Distracted Cook. Opening a cookbook and following a recipe are just not the way I do it! Now, where IS that recipe?

The next time we meet, I will walk you through my kitchen. You will see how I get ready to cook and just exactly who this cook really is! Now where did I put that new recipe we are going to try? Ah well, I’ll just smile and worry about that tomorrow…because I’ll be ready when I hear the judges announce, “ Your time starts right now!”

I love the excitement, the drama, and the food on TV cooking show challenges. I can just imagine what the contestants are thinking as they stare into the camera. In my mind’s eye, I am that contestant and it’s an elimination challenge every time I stand in front of the stove.

1 comment:

  1. i love it!! looks very interesting - can't wait to read more


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