Monday, November 8, 2010

My Kitchen Challenge

Editors Note:  This is a guest post from my good friend, Colin.

Colin: I can't believe my job makes me work over 40 hours a week.  I never have time to go to the store. 
Matt: What if I make a week long grocery list and meals with just the bare essentials, think you're able enough to handle that?
Colin: Hey, what do I look like?

Since day one of Have Her Over For Dinner, which was well before the book finally made it into production, I've been excited about the possibility of a cookbook recipe that doesn't end with me frantically waving a towel, cursing the oven fan for not sucking up the smoke billowing from my attempt to simply fry an egg (true story--who knew you had to grease the pan first?).  Matt's book was going to be different.  It was going to be different because I was going to be the kitchen foil to his everyday Bobby Flay, ready to ask the dumb questions so you don't have to.  It was going to be perfect... and it almost worked.  

Since Have Her Over For Dinner was released I've attempted, with varying degrees of success, most recipes in the book.  Once or twice I actually even had a "her" over for dinner to meet the title's minimum expectations.  When I sat down one meal to zest a lemon for flavor, however,  I knew I'd failed--I had not let Matt know just how dumb most of us really are.  

As the book has continued to grow, and Matt and Last Resort Press's footprint has expanded, the nagging idea for a full on documentation of the recipes in action finally bubbled to the top.  Matt loved the idea, and I needed to have a swift kick back in the kitchen.  With the whole digital world watching me, the pressure might also even force me to get a date.  

You've read it before but I'll state it again.  My request was for a single trip to the grocery store that would provide enough food for four simple recipes I could whip up after work.  Matt's response challenged both of our notions as to what simple means.  In some places I succeeded, in some places I fell short, and in some places the two of us are just going to have to agree to disagree on what constitutes a success (not one person got food poisoning, ahem).   

Come along through the looking glass and see what happens when the educated inept take a stab at home cookin'.  As Matt always says, crack open a cold one and get started; I already have.  You might be surprised by just how easy this whole cooking thing really is.


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