Well, beyond the designing stage, it's basically not mentally engaging, which means I can have the television running in the background. And thank God I do. Because I discovered shows I know I wouldn't ever have thought twice about during the day. Also, God bless the 1:00 am re-run of Masterchef Australia; it has changed the way I look at food.
Cooking has always been an art, but true application of culinary genius, in preparation AND presentation never hit me till about 2 months ago, when this whole Masterchef ordeal started.
From a pinch of ground rosemary, to a careless dash of liquidy meringue, by jove I was hooked.
Never did cooking look so creative, never did I see endless possibility in ingredients and their various permutations and combinations. Ordinary food became boring and looked lovelessly cooked, as I gazed longingly at the forms and colours of food swimming in front of my eyes.
A year or so ago, I saw 'Julie and Julia' with the amazing Meryl Streep playing the amazing-er Julia Child. Basically it's about a young woman (Amy Adams as 'Julie') who takes on recipes from Julia Child's cookbook on French cooking and blogs about her progress through 524 recipes in a record 365 days.
First off, I have no such intentions, OR inclinations. But I DO want to cook for the sheer joy of it.
So the semester has ended, and I need to indulge my creative side, AND my sister (a victim of the CBSE 12th Board Exams).
So yesterday, I tried my hand at my first Masterchef recipe (click to go to the recipe):
Let me state right at the beginning that I know what most Pizza chains in the world do wrong in their pizza: the base.
I've been to Naples, the birthplace of pizza, and TRUST me the base is supposed to be more like naan than the insanely thick oven-browned bread that we are used to.
So there I sat, on the kitchen floor, kneading pizza base dough, throwing in much more than just flour (the base has it's own flavour), then rolling it out to 3-4 mm thick circular elastic awesomeness. I did try the chef pizza base hand-spin, but I sucked :P
Everything else, from the tomato-base sauce to the grated mozzarella progressed smoothly.
Some things in the cooking technique changed, obviously, like I didn't have a ceramic tile to cook my pizza on, so I used my limited baking knowledge to butter and flour steel plates to cook my pizza in. And I switched parsley with basil, well, just because it's my favourite food ingredient :P
'Complete' is a good word for how I felt when I pulled those plates out of the oven.
'Happy' is a good word for how my sister felt when I 'plated up' and put the pizza in front of her.
'Proud' is a good word for how my grandmother felt.
I wanted to click a picture, but my parents have run off on a vacation with my camera. Sorry!
Thank you Masterchef! Partners in crime, you and I ;)