As I’ve mentioned before, I normally spend twenty minutes or less making dinner. I’m the one making dinner most evenings here at casa de Fausta, but The Husband’s in charge when pressure cookers are involved.
Back when I was in my teens I was sitting at my parents’ kitchen doing homework when the unattended pressure cooker blew up and, even when I was physically unscathed by the explosion, I don’t ever want to handle a pressure cooker.
The Husband’s a lot braver than I. My mother’s a lot braver than I. Anyone who uses a pressure cooker is a lot braver than I.
My mother is a really good cook – so good that she makes it look completely effortless. But even she has a limit: when we were little she decided to make homemade pasteles, and it was so much work she’s purchased them from people who specialize ever since.
While my sister shares my simplified approach to cooking, our brother’s a great cook. He loves to make really good meals, and he actually loves the process of cooking. On special occasions he spends hours slaving at the stove.
I remember one year I asked him how he makes his pork roast, which he was planning to make the next day. He was seasoning with olive oil, oregano and garlic a leg from what once must have been a gigantic pig, so it would marinade overnight. It was getting late at night and I was in the kitchen having a glass of milk before going to bed, so he said he’d explain the next morning, if I could be up by seven AM.
Seven AM is a little early, but I’m an early riser and since we were both on vacation I figured he’d be heading to the beach ahead of the crowds and the hot sun, and after a morning at the beach he’d be working on the roast later in the afternoon.
The next morning the two of us were in the kitchen cleaning up after breakfast while everybody else was still sleeping, and the conversation went like,
(Brother) B: You have to start now so it’ll be ready by 5PM.
(Fausta) F: But it’s seven in the morning. So you mean it’s going to take ten hours of working in the kitchen?
B: Yeah, that’s about right. And it has to sit for half an hour after it’s done.
F: I thought you were just going to give me the recipe, get the pork roasting in the oven, and then go out and have some fun.
B: This is fun.
I carefully tip-toed away from the kitchen, but my brother spent the whole day at it and did a wonderful job. He would feel right at home at ManCamp with Val and Steve. (I can’t wait for Steve’s next cookbook to come out.)
I’m thinking of this because I’m considering trying Darren‘s chili recipe. My quick chili recipe goes like this:
Heat in a medium flame 2 tbs olive oil in a cast-iron skillet
and add 1 lb ground chuck.
Once the beef is almost brown, add 1 pkg Bearitos Chili Seasoning, stir well.
Add 1 can (14.5 oz) Hunt’s diced tomatoes
and 1 15 oz can of Westbrae chili beans. Stir.
Lower the flame to low, and simmer for at least 40 minutes.
Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.
I serve it over a wild rice/brown rice blend, but Darren’s spaghetti looks good, too.
Darren, like Val and Steve and my brother, likes to cook.
So the question is, will the new recipe be worth it, or will it be too much work? After all, there is no Chipotle in the area.
Update: Cooking for engineers – I like!