I hate to break it to you bluntly!
If you’re looking for a mouth watering, home cooked meal that curls your toes– keep stepping. LOL! Unless it happens to be a special occasion, holiday or I’m having a nervous breakdown and self-medicating!
But, for the most part, lower your expectations when you ring my bell. The only aroma you’ll likely smell is a zesty, Sicilian Lemon Yankee Candle or calming lavender oil dispensed from my diffuser.
Before you start feeling badly about my culinary chops; let me reassure you, I wasn’t raised by wolves and left to fend for myself in the woods.
My mom was a fabulous cook; I paid attention and learned survival skills that helped when I left the nest at 25 years old. LOL! My favorite? A super creamy baked macaroni and cheese with chunks of mild cheddar cheese, butter and eggs; not the stove top, Kraft version in the box.
Chili, fried chicken and meatloaf with onions and peppers, candied yams and fresh snapped string beans were part of my arsenal. Food for the soul!
Back when my sons were kids, you would find me frying, dicing, sauteing, mixing, boiling, baking and hovering over pots and pans. I had a full drawer of well-used stainless steel utensils and spatulas; primarily used to get the last bit of Miracle Whip out of the jar.
I took pride in whipping up healthy meals. Yep. I was really into it.
My orange, vintage, Betty Crocker Cookbook got a real workout. I still have the food stained, dog-eared pages to prove it.
In 1999, one year after my divorce my sons moved in with their dad. This was the onset of my cooking sabbatical.
My idea of dinner was Raisin Bran cereal or Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. The oven wasn’t turned on, except for occasionally satisfying my sweet tooth with a batch of Toll House chocolate chip cookies or heating up day old delivered pizza.
My main reason for going into the kitchen was to hurry in and hurry out or to change the blinking clock on the microwave.
That all changed when I met my husband in 2009. He’s a devout foodie. He does most of the cooking, and, he’s good at it. It’s not that I don’t ever cook, I just don’t enjoy it when I do. We are polar opposites; I eat to live. He lives to eat. We’ve co-existed for the past four years in a peaceful manner.
The kitchen just isn’t that interesting to me. It’s a room–not a destination. A place where my Keurig coffee maker sits and collects dust and vacation magnets are stuck on the fridge. However, pigs must be flyin’, because, I’ve had a refreshing desire to up my game– thanks to an unlikely food star!
Meet my new best friend—- in my head. Samin Nosrat. I love this woman! No, I REALLY love her!!
While surfing Netflix, I ran across her show. The title was weird and intriguing. It had me at “Fat.” I was hooked.
Samin is a Persian-American chef, food writer and author of the New York Times best selling cookbook, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. She travels the world and demonstrates how the four essential elements of cooking (salt, fat, acid and heat) are used in local cuisines to make food go from bland to delicious; she kicks it up with flavor!
She also has heart warming conversations with regular folks along the way. That’s what I like about her, she seems regular and respectfully curious about other cultures and traditions. There are four episodes in Season 1, each devoted to one element of cooking. The lush cinematography and relaxed pace is captivating.
She begins her journey in northern Italy (top of my bucket list), learning about fat, savoring olive oil, pork fat and cheese as she visits farms and gets busy in the kitchen, then heads to Japan for a salt tutorial, then it’s off to the Yucatan region of Mexico for a crash course in acid, and the show winds down in Nosrat’s hometown of Berkeley, California for an exploration of heat.
While watching her show, I feel like I’m tagging along with a really cool friend, who is a much better cook than most of us will ever be, but, she doesn’t rub it in our noses.
She’s like that down-to-earth, non-judgmental girlfriend in high school that, also, didn’t give a damn about trying out for the cheerleading squad— and you could trust her with all your angst and secrets over a burger, fries and shake. LOL!
If I’m going to watch a TV chef on a food show, I want someone who is relatable– and makes things plain and simple. The food is almost secondary. LOL! Please don’t try to impress me with fancy ingredients I can’t pronounce and too many steps. I can’t. I really can’t.
Samin is perfectly imperfect. First of all, she isn’t fussy, but, really funny. Sometimes, she messes up and keeps going, but, not before ripping a bawdy laugh as her eyes twinkle.
She schleps around, like I do in jeans and a rumpled top when I’m making egg salad. No popped collars, starched white shirts or glossy kitchens with fresh cut flowers on a white marble granite counter top. Sorry, Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) and Martha Stewart. My girl, Samin, doesn’t make me feel insecure; not one bit. LOL!
Also, in a refreshing change of pace for the culinary TV genre, her documentary series features more women and people of color on screen than any other major food show on television.
In the show trailer, Samin says, “good cooking is within reach for everyone.”
There’s still hope for me yet. I’m ready to sizzle in the kitchen again!
It feels good to be “Fat.”
Can’t wait for Season 2.