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Sep 3, 2013 04:48 AM

Your flaws as a cook. Here are mine.

I know I'm a pretty good home cook. But I also know I have flaws.
Mine are: I keep dried herbs and spices far to long, I keep bottled sauces out of the fridge when I keep should keep them in, I'm impatient I like things faster then maybe they should be cooked, my workspace is to messy, and of course my knife skills are not up to par.

Those are my flaws, what are yours?

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  1. Finding fault with everything I make. People rave about my dishes, but I can only see the faults. Oh, and I suck at making pie dough.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wadejay26

      Are you me?

      I am almost never happy with what I make. I'm so excited about it, everything smells awesome... then it just doesn't live up to my expectations. Everyone else loves it. My sister has learned the face I make when I take my first bite, and she says, "Shut up, Victoria, it's awesome."

      And I also have never mastered pie dough. I buy the frozen stuff. :/

      1. re: Kontxesi

        I love the last line (the shut up line). LOL

        1. re: mrsfury

          I think most cooks, good or bad, suffer from this. I call it "olfactory fatigue." '-)

      2. re: wadejay26

        Have you tried making pie crust in your food processor? it is a snap.

      3. My dice are no longer the same size. I am too lazy to scale most fish, so when poaching, I just peel the cooked skin and scales off and pitch over the side. Between $4 a pound free range stewing hens and 59 cent a pound fryer quarters, the fryers win 95% of the time. I do not hone my blades before and after each use. My finger is my tasting spoon.

        When cooking a saucy dish in my cast iron, I will use soap for clean up just to make things easier and faster.

        5 Replies
        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

          My dice are no longer the same size.

          I used to try to be anal about this until I realized that by the time it got to the table no one else cared.

          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

            Reading the dice comment, I realized that I make PERFECT dice. Wow, one thing I can be proud of :)

            1. re: c oliver

              I can make perfect dice but have never chosen to...too lazy.

              I do however make lovely pie dough.

            2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

              Unless you catch you're own, I see no reason to scale fish: the friendly fishmonger will cheerfully do that (I did do it once at home: I found nearly transparent scales all over the kitchen for days afterwards).

              What's wrong with fingers for tasting - other than sticking them into hot liquids? I clean them periodically.

              1. re: tardigrade

                Daddy scaled fish in the backyard on the wood picnic table that could then be hosed down.

            3. - I keep my spices way too long, as I have problems throwing things out.

              - I do not plan ahead as well as I should and end up using many more dishes than is necessary.

              - I am easily flustered and get snappy and cussy when things don't go well.

              - I still haven't trained myself out of holding my index finger out over the knife blade. (When I was trained as a prep cook, that's how I was taught.... Ugh.)

              - I buy ingredients for a certain recipe and then am too tired/busy to fix it immediately, and once I'm ready half of my produce is bad and has to be tossed.

              I'm sure I have many more, but that's what I can think of off-hand.

              1. I'm not good at improvising. I'm still a pretty strict recipe follower. I'd like to be better at opening my fridge, taking out what's in there, and making dinner from that, versus having it planned out ahead.

                4 Replies
                1. re: juliejulez

                  This is funny since i was going to say the opposite! I'm almost incapable of following a recipe to the point where my dish is often a shadow of what it should have been.
                  Which is fine and good- unless you (i) dont write down what i did (um, never have) and then i cant ever seem to make the same dish the same way twice!!

                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    That's me too! I always try to cook more from my cookbooks, but I can never seem to follow a recipe without completely changing everything.

                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      Ttrockwood, you hit on my biggest flaw: I experiment a lot, and fail to document what I did! So when someone asks for the recipe, I'm at a loss. I am trying to train myself to keep a "lab notebook" for the kitchen.

                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        That's me all over -- especially the part about not writing the changes down. The best dish I ever made was a cheese soup where I sort of winged it between two very different recipes. SO still talks about that soup but I haven't been able to duplicate it since.

                        Apart from that, I have mediocre knife skills, and my timing (although improving) is still pretty weak -- I rarely can get all components of a meal finished at the same time.

                    2. It's like looking in a mirror here!
                      -too ambitious and over-buy at grocery stores and especially at farmers markets, leading to waste
                      -my knives are dangerously dull
                      -way too many dried herbs and spices!
                      -my sauces need serious honing to get the near restaurant quality
                      -my fridge really needs to be emptied and wiped down way more than I do

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: monavano

                        Ditto, although I do take my knives to be professionally sharpened once a year in Oct., so only some of them (those most often used) are dull right now.

                        1. re: monavano

                          Wow I ditto most of what you said -

                          I am notorious for just grabbing things in the store and at the market which go to waste

                          I yell at my knives every time I try to do anything that requires even a marginally sharp blade...hmm my chef's knife now struggles with granny smith apples

                          I have a ton for spices in the cabinet, mostly due to my habit of grabbing things and then when I do plan to use them I feel like I should buy anew

                          I close my eyes to the fridge when I open and just simply pick up the 4 jars of random condiments that fall out every time I open it :)

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Wonderful piece of wisdom from another boat. "When your herbs smell like tea, it is time to replace them."

                            Many thanks S/V Good Grief.

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              Agreed...this whole thread is making me feel better about my shortcomings.

                              My knives aren't sharp, I waste far too much food, my time-estimation skills are either "ambitious" or "unrealistic" depending on your POV. And a few years ago the door of my refrigerator fell off its hinges and I caught it just before it fell on my four-year-old son. The repair guy gently suggested that the cause may have been the number of condiments in the door.

                              1. re: mebby

                                Wow, really? That must have been some condiment collection!!