Ingrediente Secreto

After spending more years in the home kitchen than I’d care to count, I think I may be on my way to the magical 10,000 hours of logged time that Malcolm Gladwell claims is so important in Outliers. There are few things I enjoy more than delivering interesting, flavorful meals to the table.

I don’t remember not knowing how to cook. Scrambled eggs gave me my start, and holiday meals gave me my challenges, and I’ve washed a lot of dishes in between.

The Practical Cook

The Practical Cook washes dishes.

For those of you who know me personally, thank you for your phone calls, emails, and texts asking me to help you solve everything from dinner disasters to missing ingredients. I’m taking this opportunity to open the help desk a bit more broadly.

The blog’s name was developed over a recent dinner out, and it suits. Ironically, the phrase was echoed this week in Mark Bittman’s farewell article–I greatly admire his style and perspective.

My goal here is to share lessons learned on a few fronts. I do try to cook using fresh, local ingredients when possible, minimally processed ingredients when not. Weekly meal planning is essential, even if it’s not strictly followed. (We call that “punting,” and you’ll watch it live here.)

And I strive above all things to not waste food. Leftovers are repurposed, dishes reseasoned, etc. in a valiant attempt to avoid the compost heap. I’m feeding a family of four daily, so this is a challenge.

Lastly, I will share my overriding kitchen philosophy, borrowed from Strega Nona. Every dish needs a little ingrediente secreto, and hers is love. Sometimes you just have to get food on the table, but try to make it something you or someone else will love every time.

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3 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy

3 responses to “Ingrediente Secreto

  1. Heather

    Best pants ever!

  2. The Practical Cook

    Thanks Heather. They, like the food, are homemade. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Gentle Reader Poll: Where Do We Go from Here? | The Practical Cook

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