I’d like to talk about something today that I wish I could blame squarely on Tom Colicchio and his evil panel of judges on Top Chef. I can see them clearly in my mind berating a contestant for bland food and not tasting before serving such slop to their discriminating palates. That British guy is particularly nasty.
I call it the downfall of the cooking nosh-er. You know what i’m talking about- bit for the dinner, bite for you. Of course, you reason with yourself, “I MUST taste before serving to my guests/unsuspecting husbands and children. Don’t wanna poison anyone!” But what about when you’re cooking for one (or someone with a severe headcold)? That excuse just dissolves into thin air. I suppose you need to adjust the recipe as it cooks, but is it really necessary to take “normal” sized bites?
I suffer from this terrible affliction. I’ll just admit it now because i’ve never been one to hold my peace (if I was male, that’d take on a WHOLE other meaning, I suppose). I can’t even guess at how many extra calories i’m consuming doing this! The other day I found myself cutting off chunks of sourdough and dipping them in a lentil mixture as I waited for it to cook. “I need a snack to tide me over!” I reasoned. I don’t seem able to just take a little taste, either. Apparently, I must DROWN my tastebuds in order to adequately gauge the flavor- how sophisticated.
And then there’s the nights I have cheese in my dinner. The CARNAGE! The other night I found myself wondering how it was that I only used a small bit of a brand new wedge of parmesano reggiano in my eggplant caponata the other night, but there’s only a little left? Oh, yes. That’s probably due to the fact that I cut off slices- yes, SLICES of parmesan cheese- to dip in the caponata as it was cooking. The horror! The shame!
I’m wondering how many other people have this issue. Am I alone in my suffering/shame? How do you curb this? This is something that I am completely aware of now and I need to make a conscious effort to knock it the hell off. Consider this my resignation from the island of the cooking nosh-er. Well…wait. Do I get to give my two weeks notice? You see, I’ve got a really tasty dinner on tap for tonight.